Synopsis by Mark Deming
As America becomes increasingly wary of its long-time dependence on oil for energy, many consumers and energy firms have put a greater emphasis on other fuels, and some encourage a greater use of natural gas, a relatively clean fossil fuel. In 2008, Haynesville, a city in rural Louisiana, became a boomtown when a previously unknown reserve of natural gas was discovered; it was the largest gas strike in American history, big enough to fully satisfy America's fossil fuel needs for nine years. Filmmaker Gregory Kallenberg traveled to Haynesville and offers a provocative look at America's thirst for energy and how it impacts the lives of three people in the documentary Haynesville: A Nation's Relentless Hunt For Energy. Mike Smith owns three hundred aces of land in Haynesville, most of which became his because no one else in his family wanted them. While he loves the land and wants to protect it, he's not in a position to turn down several million dollars offered to him for drilling rights. Reegis Richard is the pastor of a local church who believes the gas discovery has been a blessing from the Lord, and along with filling his collection plate, he hopes the gas money can help fund a Christian school to give new opportunity to Haynesville's underprivileged youth. And Kassi Fitzgerald is one of the few skeptics regarding Haynesville's sudden windfall; believing the energy companies are not looking after the local environment and shortchanging citizens who don't fully understand the value of their gas rights, she organizes a coalition to see her neighbors get their fair share and still have a livable community after the boom is over. Haynesville: A Nations Relentless Hunt For Energy receives its world premiere at the 2010 South By Southwest Film Festival.