Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot (57-minutes) tells the story of communities who are working to challenge two different pipeline projects in Pennsylvania that are considered by many to be disruptive, dangerous, and unnecessary. Through use of eminent domain, billion-dollar pipeline projects are being developed close to homes, schools and community centers—all for the delivery of natural gas and "highly volatile liquids" overseas. The film shares stories of people who are rising up to assert their basic right to a clean, sustainable environment and a safe community as they are confronted by extraction companies and an unfriendly system that often favors corporate power over the rights of people.
In the film, we meet Ellen Gerhart, a retired special education teacher and grandmother who was jailed twice for protesting the taking of three acres of her land (through eminent domain) for use by a pipeline company. Ellen catalogues the degradation of nature that has been taking place on her property, and she gives an overview of some of the ways companies take advantage of their use of eminent domain. We then follow Ginny Marcille-Kerslake, a geologist who testified in court against a pipeline company and successfully stopped construction on her land by documenting how the pipeline construction was damaging the environment. We also hear from a group of Catholic Sisters known as the Adorers of the Blood of Christ who built a chapel in a pipeline's path on their land as an expression of religious freedom and their belief in caring for the earth. Sister Bernice Klostermann provides us with a history of the Adorers who settled in Pennsylvania and she teaches us why it is important to preserve the land.
We are then introduced to Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck (a Mennonite pastor) and Mark Clatterbuck (a Professor of Religion at Montclair State University), the Co-Founders of Lancaster Against Pipelines who have been working tirelessly for the past four years to protect communities and to inspire others to take action. They reveal what they've learned about eminent domain law and regulations regarding pipeline construction, and they provide insight into how extraction companies are able to receive permits for projects even when those projects may be damaging to the environment or disputed by a large number of citizens. Mark and Malinda also demonstrate how communities can move forward in peaceful ways to protect what they love.
Ultimately, we hear Senator Andrew Dinniman reinforce what many citizens had suspected all along: eminent domain is being compromised in Pennsylvania, and those who oppose the demand for public safety and a clean and sustainable environment, are actually opposing the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
The music in this trailer is by : 36, the ambient project of Dennis Huddleston.