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Fracking the System: Colorado’s Oil and Gas Wars World Premiere – Feb. 23rd, 2024

Fracking the System: Colorado’s Oil and Gas Wars World Premiere – Feb. 23rd, 2024


Press releases are provided to Yellow Scene Magazine. In an effort to keep our community informed, we publish some press releases in whole.

In its world premiere on February 23rd, 7:30pm at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, the feature documentary Fracking the System: Colorado’s Oil and Gas Wars, directed by Brian Hedden, will expose the racketeering and environmental racism employed by the oil and gas industry to undermine efforts of Colorado community activists in passing a 2018 ballot initiative to keep fracking drilling sites farther away from schools and residential areas. 

Thousands of drilling sites near homes and schools in Colorado have increased health risks for local adults and children, from nose bleeds to respiratory problems to child leukemia. And the volatile sites, severely under regulated, have also caused deaths due to explosion and exposure.

Fracking the System: Colorado’s Oil and Gas Wars is an investigative exposé about the harms of fracking, the lengths to which the government is complacent with industrial pollution, and the nefarious tactics that the oil and gas industry uses to undermine democratic elections. 

When Patrica Garcia Nelson learns about the fracking site going in behind her son’s school, she is in disbelief. She is even more shocked to learn it was moved to her BIPOC community from a predominantly White neighborhood after those parents protested. She joins the fight to stop the well and gets connected to the state-wide movement to push new oil and gas wells further away from all communities. The conflict erupts in 2018 when the activists’ state-wide ballot initiative prompts a $50 million response from the oil and gas industry, complete with dirty tricks, harassment, and sabotage. Finally, an oil and gas overhaul bill in the 2019 Colorado State Legislature fundamentally shifts the playing field. But, the Colorado Oil and Gas wars are just a small microcosm of the climate justice movement at large and a harbinger of climate battles to come. Fracking the System: Colorado’s Oil and Gas Wars reveals shocking and powerful lessons from the front lines of environmental activism that leaves the audience aghast and ready to join the fight.

Fracking the System: Colorado’s Oil and Gas Wars is a production by Boulder-based Earth Dog Films, helmed by first-time feature film director Brian Hedden. Hedden says, “The purpose of the film is to shed light on these grave injustices and to inspire the next waves of climate justice activism.”

Originally invited to consider making a film about fracking by local Lakota elders, Hedden began filming activists’ efforts to push for fracking site setbacks in 2018. Along the way, he was slapped with an 80-page lawsuit from Extraction Oil and Gas.

The oil company was after his footage exposing the environmental racism of their Bella Romero fracking site, and after a 10-month legal battle, Hedden retained the rights to his own footage.

At the world premiere screening of the film in Golden, Colorado, as part of CEFF, audiences will finally be able to see this controversial story that exposes the tactics of the oil and gas industry to uphold the status quo, which means continuing to poison Colorado communities through these massively polluting and under-regulated fracking sites.

The film is a herald of the next wave of the movement lead by Safe and Healthy Colorado and 350 Colorado who are leading the charge on a new statewide ballot initiative to phase out fracking by 2030.

Check out their websites safeandhealthyco.org and 350colorado.org stopping-fracking to find out ways you can get involved now.

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