In his new documentary “To the Ends of the Earth”, film maker David Lavallee looks at the quest to extract fossil fuels in more and more inaccessible places and in more and more inaccessible forms. “Essentially what we’re having to do nowadays for our energy, we’re having to go literally to the ends of the earth, both geographically and geologically to find these resources.”
Lavallee dubs this “extreme energy” which is unconventional oil and gas. “Different kinds of oil and gas that are now an increasingly large part of our energy mix and are problematic for different reasons.”
The documentary was filmed over 3 years and Lavallee traveled to various locations, like an Inuit village in Canada’s Arctic, where residents are concerned about seismic testing for oil in the ocean that is blowing up the eardrums of the animals that the Inuit hunt to survive. Also featured in the film are those protesting the tar sands development in Canada, and people fighting oil shale projects that could damage the Green River in Utah.
Lavallee explores the economics of the oil and gas industry behind these extreme energy projects in the film. “Energy companies nowadays, in order to be competitive, need to redefine themselves as oil companies, gas companies and be energy companies essentially. The reason is the capital costs for oil extraction processes and projects is spiraling out of control, we’ve seen that here in Canada in the tar sands. Fracking, it costs $9 million to frack a well and 800 trick trips worth of water and all of this is saying nothing of the environmental costs to communities such as Longmont for example.”
To the Ends of the Earth will be screened on Wednesday February 28th starting at 6pm at the Longmont public library. Prior to the film, David Lavallee will join the conversation from Canada, via Skype. The screening is being presented by the Longmont Public Forum, a group of local activists working to educate and engage the public with documentary screenings and panel discussions on various environmental and social justice topics. It will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Longmont farmer Rod Brueske who has been fighting fracking operations near his farm.