4017079119 c8e93c9598 m When we think dirty energy, we often think coal — but a new documentary’s showing that even natural gas has its dirty side. Split Estate reveals the fight happening over natural gas in the Rocky Mountain West, where a new drilling boom has citizens worried about not just their environment, but also their health — and their civil liberties too.

What does split estate mean? The term applies to a situation where the owners of the land on the surface don’t own the natural resources beneath that surface. And according to the film description, this split ownership issue leads to some serious environmental and civil liberties problems:
Exempt from federal protections like the Clean Water Act, the oil and gas industry has left this idyllic landscape and its rural communities pockmarked with abandoned homes and polluted waters. One Garfield County resident demonstrates the degree of benzene contamination in a mountain stream by setting it alight with a match. Many others, gravely ill, fight for their health and for the health of their children. All the while, the industry assures us it is a “good neighbor.”

Watch the hard-hitting documentary this Sunday, Oct. 17, 8 p.m. EDT and Thurs., Oct. 22 at 11 p.m. EDT on Planet Green.

Image courtesy of Split Estate

'Split Estate': Natural gas gets dirty
A new documentary reveals the dirty business behind natural gas, an energy source often touted as a cleaner alternative to coal.