The High Cost Of Cheap Gas – Documentary Film

movie poster

Produced by Mira Dutschke, Directed By Jeffrey Barbee. Associate Producer: Charles Moore. With: Kendra Lauren Gros, Ashleigh Hamilton-Moore, Kiko Herrera and many others.Download our Press Release

Accolade-Merit-logo-black copy-shigh cost of cheap gas - winner envirofilm 2015

Education & Community Screenings:
Green Planet Films

Download or stream the film:

Libya54.158.0.157

Follow producer Mira Dutschke and director Jeffrey Barbee around the world as they uncover the facts about this controversial business, and why it affects us all. Secret fracking operations have been conducted in Africa’s most protected National Parks. The team uncovers these operations and brings hard evidence to light that startles policy makers. This is the international underbelly of the energy business, but there is hope.

Watch the first ten minutes of the film:

Copy of The High Cost Of Cheap Gas -First Ten Minutes

The struggle over natural gas development rages on in countries around the world…

…but in Botswana natural gas companies quietly and without public input began drilling in sensitive wilderness areas. Until now only a few industry press releases have been made public, this is the first journalistic investigation to cover this breaking story.

The High Cost of Cheap Gas is profiled on national TV program 50/50.

Fracking in Botswana

A 50/50 interview with the director Jeff Barbee.

Jeff Barbee- Fracking Interview

LINK: Maps of gas prospecting licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

DOWNLOAD: The proof of fracking in Botswana used for this report. -Please credit High Cost of Cheap Gas if used.

About the filmmakers:

Jeffrey Barbee works for Global Post, LinkTV.org and the UK Guardian. His work appears in the New York Times, the BBC, NOS Tv Holland, Smithsonian Magazine, RTL News, PBS, CBS, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Vanity Fair.

Mira Dutschke has a masters degree in Human Rights Law and 10 years international research experience. Currently she is producing media investigating human rights and environmental issues.

Barbee’s and Dutschke’s last film, Creating a Climate for Change won best environmental film at the Colorado Film Festival in 2012.

Quotes from the film:

Randy UdallRandy Udall

Energy Consultant, Colorado, U.S.A

“The gas industry loves to talk about clean burning natural gas. Well, it’s clean when it gets to you but there is a trail of devastation that the gas industry leaves all the way back to the gas well. “

 

Tweet BlancettTweety  Blancett

Landowner: 200 wells on property, New Mexico, USA

“The well-heads are leaking, the pits have overflowed, they’re un-lined, and they seep into the water sources and into the springs. That was the main thing that caused us to quit ranching – it’s because our water’s contaminated”.

Jumanda GakeleboneJumanda Gakelebone

Community Activist, Botswana

“Look at our country – it is still a developing country. If you bring gas companies like this they have destroyed and did bad things in the US what about Botswana? What will happen here? It’s going to be a mess.”

Steve BodenSteve Boden

Unconventional Gas Development Manager

Sasol, Johannesburg, South Africa

“The really nice thing that I think about CBM is that, there’s lots of opportunities for sustainable development and minimal impact and it’s a clean energy resource. So, I mean, what more do want?” mean it’s great, so…?

Detlev HelmigDetlev Helmig

Associate Professor

Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research University of Colorado

“We have seen in our measurements that is that very likely this region will see significant increases in atmospheric contaminate levels. Every oil and gas development region that we have sampled those studies overwhelmingly show that the oil and gas just inherently is tied to very significant emissions of hydrocarbons.

Jonathan DealJonathan Deal

Treasure Karoo Action Group

“The jobs are completely unsustainable. They are for specialized people and the economics of shale gas is showing that the sustainability and depletion rate of the well is that it’s a very short-term thing and a short-term benefit.”

Cormac CullinanCormac Cullinan

Cullinan and Associates

“There is no question that environmental degradation hurts the poorest of the poor much more than it hurts anybody else. When developments like fracking are proposed the response that you get is that it creates jobs but frankly it depends what kind of jobs. There is no benefit in my view in creating jobs, which harm society”google571852be2e4b2c2eGreen Planet Films>

Comments

  1. David Goodfellow says

    The man who runs the elephant lodge that you interview in the film (seen in the preview) has, of course, a vested interest in preserving the wilderness of this area and keeping the elephants coming to his lodge for the tourists. So he is protecting his own turf, not providing objective evidence. If African countries are to move beyond economies based on catering to the whims of wealthy westerners who want a quick hit of nature before returning to their prosperous, western lives, then they need the raw materials that can drive their industries and provide better jobs so Africa can catch up with the western world, not remain it’s exotic toy.

    • Jeffrey Barbee says

      Hi David,

      Botswana’s tourism brings in 400 millions dollars in sustainable revenue every year. If you are suggesting that replacing sustainable livelihoods with gas drilling that benefits a few vested interests and some massive international companies will make it less of an exotic toy I am afraid you are selling the people of Africa far too cheaply. This is not a story of keeping positive development away from people, but of making sure these developments are done with consultative best practice and are financially (and environmentally) sustainable.

      Far from your suggestion that gas development would “drive their industries and provide better jobs so Africa can catch up with the western world” developments like this have almost never made local people affected by the drilling healthier, wealthier or better off in the long term.

      In a country with the highest solar index in the world and a well-educated population, perhaps the discussion should center around the knowledge economy, the future of solar, and how to place Africa’s best interests ahead of international short-term corporate greed.

      Jeffrey Barbee

      • says

        Very well put Jeffrey Barbee. You make total sense with some excellent and cogent points. The Botswana Government has sold out. It is a disgrace after years of policy that has encouraged soft (very expensive) tourism which has indeed benefited the local people, and was so environmentally sensitive that only demountable game camps can be built so as to leave no footprint on the environment.

  2. Ted says

    The West has always raped Africa for financial gain, giving nothing back in return, this time it may very well be for the last time, Botswana is a very large country with not many people living there.

    It’s abundance of wild life is a thing to behold and should be protected not destroyed, now I am concerned that the assurances given by this Tory Government that fracking is safe! how the hell can it be? when you listen to the comments made by industry experts in this documentary.

  3. Iain says

    Interesting piece …Upstream newspaper …www.upstreamonline.com …reported from Botswana in 2005/2006 when coalbed methane exploration was first starting there …Upstream continues to cover CBM activities there

  4. Percival says

    This sort of activity would surely have negative impacts on elephants, which communicate at very low frequencies that humans can’t even hear. Having been to the Kalahari, this is heartbreaking news. Can’t we humans learn to appreciate beauty as well as money?

  5. says

    Shameful! What a sellout after years Govt policy to attract soft (very expensive) tourism and the rigorous
    enforcement of demountable game camps designed to leave no footprint on
    the environment – : “Botswana has quietly opened up vast areas,
    including delicate ecosystems, to unchecked development”, Just Shocking. However, one mistake in your script. The Karoo is NOT a desert. It is a semi-arid zone.

  6. Jeffrey Barbee says

    The
    serious issues around this are: 1 lack of transparency and public
    discourse, as well as readily available independent research to move the
    discussion forward on the facts. 2 Poor study into the health effects
    of the chemicals leaking into the air and water (there is not one peer
    reviewed study on Toluene-a major substance in Nat gas emissions) 3:
    collusion, intentional or not with regulatory agencies and the companies
    being regulated.

  7. Catherine says

    Thank you Mira and Jeffrey for a fabulous film straddling two continents which brings home in no uncertain terms the true costs of this miserable industry. Films like yours will become an increasingly important tool in the fight for true awareness. I have also recently seen “Voices from the Gasfields”by Ian R Crane (which brought the Australian experience to the UK demonstrators) and I hear that FoE are considering producing something of their own with the makers of “Frackman”, which I’ve not seen yet. Great that the film is now available for download and thank you for screening it on RT in April 2015 in the UK – without which I would never have joined the successful demonstration against fracking in Lancashire! I’m sending you £100 with thanks for the link you made available for me to share with MPs, MSPs and Lancashire County Councillors. It all helped x x x x

    • Jeff Barbee says

      Thanks so much for your kind words Catherine, everything helps as we try to get out the facts around gas drilling.
      Jeff Barbee

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *