Gas Hole Shows What Oil Companies Don’t Want You To Know

“Our excessive dependence on oil is a clear and a present danger”. The statement’s author was the United States President Jimmy Carter, in 1980. Almost 3 decades later, George W. Bush said that we’re still facing the same problem. In his own words, “America is addicted to oil”.

The 2008 documentary “Gas Hole” opens with these two sentences and then shows the history of oil prices. It proposes major changes in a sustainable direction. Gas Hole explains in detail why the United States of America is so dependent on oil.

The documentary translates real numbers into daily consequences and explains the motives behind the economic decisions made by oil companies and industries. Data from 2011 showed that the average oil consumption of the country surpassed 18.8 million barrels a day, numbers that place the United States at the top of oil consumption worldwide, followed by China with 9.7 million barrels.

Gas Hole reveals oil companies’ policies

Gas Hole explores the reasons why America became the world biggest importer of oil. Now, of course, with the shale gas boom, that trends has reversed and the US Congress is discussing, whether or not to allow exports of crude oil again. However, the arguments made in the documentary are not invalidated by that historic change.

gas-hole“Gas Hole” sparks a discussion by looking at the economic and sociological forces that are slowing down the process of shifting from fuel fuels to renewable sources of energy. As the film’s slogan says (a with the typical marketing spin), Gas Hole will show you “what the oil companies don’t want you to know”. Namely: that there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels. It is a question of the infrastructure we chose to build (e.g. roads vs. rails) and the technologies (e.g. the combustion engine vs. electric mobility) we chose to invest into.

It is a great irony that this film came out the very same year that America witnessed a historical shift in the oil and gas industry through the rapid expansion of shale gas and oil extraction. I would argue that this does not undermine the central tenets of the film. In fact, the danger is that it will further cement the US path towards fossil fuels. Shale gas may be a bubble, but when we find out that it is, we have invested even more into a fossil infrastructure and it will be even more difficult to overcome our path dependency. You know, who will have the last laugh.

“Gas Hole” shows that there are indeed many alternatives to fossil fuels and runs through a number of alternative technologies and new energy sources. The films arguments are buttressed by the opinions of many specialists from a wide range of scientific and social areas.

Who are the authors of Gas Hole?

The documentary was directed by Scott D. Roberts and Jeremy Wagener and is narrated by Peter Gallagher. The film was rewarded with the 2009 “Spirit of Independent” Award at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

Born in California, Scott D. Roberts was both and an actor and a director of Gas Hole. The filmmaker is known by his experience in other non-environmentalist projects, such as the comedy “Chicks, Man”, or the reality show “Giving, Celebrity Style”.

Jeremy Wagener debuted in film directing with “Chicks, Man” where he met Scott D. Roberts. A long friendship culminated in their decision to make Gas Hole. Jeremy Wagener was also responsible for the production of the “The Big Slit”, the film that won the Golden Trailer Award in 2000.




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Gayrajan Kohli
Gayrajan Kohli
Gayrajan is a staunch solar promoter, serial entrepreneur & management consultant. He has a decade of experience in solar PV, disruptive technologies and political consultancy in USA and India. He believes that development of solar and other renewable technologies is critical to India's energy security. Gayrajan holds a Masters and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from USA. Follow him on Twitter to gain daily industry insights.
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