Split Estate (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Split Estate
Audience Reviews for Split Estate
Conico Philips comes on your property and drill with/with out your permission, they own the Mineral Rights
"Split Estate" is a devastating documentary about an ongoing environmental catastrophe in the Rocky Mountains where 85% of the property owners do not own the mineral rights to their land which are held instead by private companies. That along with deregulation pushed by the Bush administration and lawmakers friendly to oil and gas companies(from both parties) helps to not only make their drilling for oil and natural gas without need of compensation or permission possible but also allows for it in populated areas. That would be bad enough even without the toxins emitted by the wells which poisons the ground water, along with the more spectacular fires. What the documentary does so well is to focus on those landowners most afflicted(some whose land have been in the family for generations) and allows them to tell their stories of hardship in their own words. Testimony from experts is used to contradict the energy companies who are given more than enough rope to hang themselves. It is not entirely hopeless as there are signs that things are slowly starting to change for the better as the residents have taken to grass roots activism and more long range plans like alternative energy are proposed. In any case, this does not have to be happening this way. But do not think this is something that you do not have to worry about... (Originally reviewed in the blog section on August 15, 2009.)
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