The Trans-Pecos pipeline, a 42 inch high pressure line, would run 143 miles from a natural gas hub near the town of Coyanosa in Pecos County down to the border town of Presidio. There, it would connect with a short 1,000 foot cross-border pipeline connecting to another line bringing the gas into Mexico's interior.
Once in Mexico, there are indications that a portion of the 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas shipped per day would be diverted to other foreign markets, subverting strict US export regulation faced by similar proposals.
Some media coverage:
Many residents of the West Texas communities impacted by the proposal are opposed to the line on a number of fronts.
Not only does the project pose environmental concerns to what has been called the "last frontier of Texas", but impacted residents are facing eminent domain if they refuse to sign a lease with the pipeline company.
In addition, the 42 inch line presents a long term risk of failure and explosion in a region highly prone to wildfire. There are also concerns regarding methane emissions from the pipeline, which are 84x times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
The Big Bend region is one of the last, and the largest ecologically pristine areas remaining in the nation. This proposed pipeline threatens critical habitat and water resources, disrupts sensitive desert ecosystems and creates significant risk to the long-term welfare of the region. It also poses risk to the local economy which is dependent on tourism and ranching, both of which could be impacted by the industrial infrastructure and water demands created by this pipeline.
We are seeking to embark on a journey of discovery to dive deep into this issue being faced by the communities of West Texas including Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, and Presidio in the form of either a 30 minute or feature length documentary.
We will seek to capture the stories of residents facing this proposal and amplify their voices. We will look deeper into the unlikely alliances forming between ranchers and environmentalists, and work to document the battle being waged to save this region from oil and gas development.
In a David vs. Goliath approach, we will examine the other side of the story and look into the motivations behind the gas company's push to get this project approved in unprecedented time. What are the connections between local tycoon Kelcy Warren, a pipeline billionare, and local and state politicians? Why do communities assuming the risk not have any say in whether or not the project moves forward? Who has the authority to determine whether or not a project is in the public benefit? How does this project impact climate change in the context of domestic and international policy shifts?
With this documentary project in it's beginning phases, we are seeking initial funding to dive deep into pre-production. The funds raised in this first phase will be used to get the project's director out to the West Texas region and begin scouting characters, access, storylines, and begin developing a more specific direction for the film ahead. We will shoot preliminary footage to be used in a second phase of fundraising as the film begins to take more shape.
We will also begin creating strategic partnerships with local organizations on the ground, while simultaneously developing a funding and distribution plan for the endeavor ahead.
A scouting trip is scheduled to begin September 8th with airfare and lodging firm. Time is of the essence.
Monies raised will be used for:
- transportion on the ground
- equipment (camera, sound, drone, etc)
- crew expenses
- misc development costs prepping for production later this year
James Parker - Director
James Parker is an international filmmaker and cinematographer based in Southern California. His passion for filmmaking has been cemented in capturing authentic human stories from all walks of life and has led him to work on projects in Singapore, Botswana, India, Sri Lanka, the UK and across the US. His work has been featured in numerous international film festivals with broadcast on major cable and network television, has earned an Emmy nod, a Telly, and was awarded an Italian presidential medal for work highlighting Botswana's struggle to combat HIV/AIDs. James recently directed a short form documentary on the Pacific Connector Pipeline in Southern Oregon and is thrilled at the opportunity to dive in deep with the Trans-Pecos Pipeline story.
Christopher Sibley - Producer
Christopher is a filmmaker from Alpine, West Texas currently pursuing an MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC in Los Angeles. After he received his BA in Media Studies Production from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, Chris moved into LA to work in development at FilmNation. During his time there he started his company, Papalote Productions. Currently, he is the live media director for Marfa Film Festival and is producing a feature length film in Boston as well as a feature length documentary for Viva Big Bend Music Festival. With the help of friends and mentors such as producer Aaron Ryder (Memento, Donnie Darko, The Prestige) and producer Lawrence Turman (American History X, The Graduate, The Thing), Chris has learned that zeitgeist stories are king.
Defend Big Bend - Partner Org
Defend Big Bend is an all-volunteer grassroots community action coalition dedicated to protecting air, water, wildlife, cultural heritage, and way of life – the common good – through creativity, cooperation, and collaboration.
Any help at this early stage is very much appreciated! Our entire team feels passionate about the need to tell this story and are jumping in fast as construction for the pipeline is slated for end of 2015. Thanks in advance for anything you can contribute!
(A taste of the Trans-Pecos Region)