Monday, September 26, 2011

Keystone XL: It's Time to Listen

Leslie Iwerks and I finished our short film on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

It's been an incredible journey. We've met so many amazing people on this film and we hope it helps shed light on the concerns Americans are having regarding the creation and route of this pipeline. We spoke to landowners, politicians, the union, and even Canada's Minister of Energy. We wanted to hear from the voices on both sides of the issue and try to understand this controversy over the Keystone XL.

Through our work, we found a major disconnect between the political and oil agenda - from the federal to the state levels - and the landowners fighting to save their property and livelihoods. A major lack of effective communication exists among all parties. Landowners aren't feeling heard and, while the government says it is listening, actions speak louder than words.

I will say that the U.S. State Dept was very responsive and did listen and seemed supportive of our efforts to get answers to our questions. Though they have already decided to support the pipeline, we did feel heard and that goes a long way.

One area with which we were not impressed was our dealings with TransCanada. Despite repeated attempts to engage TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, in a dialogue about the pipeline so our audience could understand their perspective, they refused to speak to us. Their evasion did not make us feel that they cared about Americans' concerns over the pipeline. It only told us that they are concerned about their own agenda and I'm sure this attitude contributes greatly to this controversy.

Bottomline, people want to be heard and have their concerns addressed.

We made this film as ordinary Americans wanting to understand what was happening to the middle of our country. We had no monetary support from any organizations. This is our film, our questions and hopefully our subjects will resonate as intended: as real people with real concerns. Perhaps we can all take time to listen.

Trailer coming soon! Stay tuned!

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