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“National Sacrifice Zone”

“National Sacrifice Zone: Colorado and the Cost of Energy Independence is a documentary that
takes a critical look at the effects of the most current Rocky Mountain energy boom.

Starting with stories of Colorado’s secret and unfathomable oil resource– oil shale– and the trillions of barrels of oil this mysterious rock is said to contain, “National Sacrifice Zone” looks at the history of energy related Booms and Busts in Western Colorado.

From Black Sunday, when Exxon walked away from a 970 million dollar project and left 2300 people unemployed in the small town of Rifle, CO, to attempts to unlock oil and gas through nuclear stimulation technology, and finally to Shell’s new interest in the “Rock that Burns”, “National Sacrifice Zone” tells the story of what is shaping up to be a 19th Century type boom in the 21st Century.

While exploring the past, and the possible future, of Colorado’s Boom and Bust cycle, “National Sacrifice Zone” also considers the one boom much of Colorado has not yet seemed to notice– the natural gas boom. From the “split estate”- a situation in which private landholders find themselves faced with the intrusion of gas drills in their backyards- to issues of toxic pollution, “National Sacrifice Zone” asks; why is everyone talking about the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and failing to notice western Colorado’s current despoilment?

Including interviews with: Patricia Nelson Limerick PhD, Randy Udall, Albert Bartlett PhD, and Andrew Gulliford PhD.


Director’s Statement:

“Sacrifice Zone” was the first film I ever made. The film was made on a shoestring budget, and with no technical knowledge. In making “Sacrifice Zone” I learned as I went. Luckily the film received some attention; it may have even contributed to the debate about oil and gas development in Colorado. I’m happy to have been involved in the protest against irresponsible gas drilling in CO. I’m even happier that the issue is now getting more exposure in the films “Gasland” and “Split Estate.” Please seek out these films. They pick up where “Sacrifice Zone” left off.

“Split Estate” is on the web at:

“Gasland” can be found at:


Festival Screenings for “National Sacrifice Zone”:

Docuwest Film Festival   2009

Southern Appalachian International Film Festival   2009

Wild and Scenic Film Festival & National Tour   2009

Indie Spirit Film Festival   2008

Colorado Environmental Film Festival   2007

Tri-Media Film Festival   2007