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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Haynesville" Director Debuts New Documentary:  Rational Middle Energy Series

"Haynesville" Director Debuts New Documentary: Rational Middle Energy Series

Films Premiere at Aspen Ideas Festival, Inviting Open, Balanced Discussion around Energy Issues

ASPEN, Colo., June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy is all around us. From the lights in our home to how we cook our food, energy powers our world and helps create almost every convenience we enjoy. And yet, as important as it is to our lives, extreme positions and polarizing debates make it difficult to get a balanced view of the energy landscape and how to achieve a sustainable energy future.

Today at Aspen Ideas Festival, Gregory Kallenberg and the creators of the acclaimed documentary "Haynesville: A Nation's Hunt for An Energy Future," debuted the "Rational Middle Energy Series," a series of short, thought-provoking films about energy and its future. The films were inspired by the belief that a rational movement focused on civil dialogue can lead to a cleaner energy future. Shell Oil Company (Shell) is sponsoring the film series.

"Through our travels with 'Haynesville,' no matter where we were in the world, we saw a striking commonality from community to community: the need and desire for a balanced discussion about today's energy issues. We realized that more often than not, people wanted to leave behind the noise and extremes to build an energy future that is environmentally sound, economically viable and ensures energy security," said Gregory Kallenberg, director and producer of the series. "The 'Rational Middle' is the starting point for a movement welcoming open discussion where everyone is invited to the table to find solutions to the most important energy challenges."

Viewpoints from the Rational Middle
Exploring topics ranging from the current state of energy to future challenges and opportunities, the films provide commentary from a diverse group of experts who paint a unique, optimistic, but serious portrait of the energy challenges we face, the tools we have to address them, and the goals we need to consider in order to reach a place where we can be confident about the future of our energy, where it comes from and how it affects our world.

"It's important that we have a rational conversation about energy because the stakes are so high and because there are so many players and there is so much distrust," said Frank Sesno, founder of Planet Forward and former CNN journalist, and one of the featured experts in the film series. "We live in a polarized political environment and a fractured world. But these are truly global concerns. Whether there's enough energy to power the planet, whether it's going to be clean enough so the planet can survive, whether it's going to be produced in such a way that one nation cannot be held hostage or poisoned by another--these things matter. We have to be realistic and we have to be rational and this conversation needs to cut across disciplines and boundaries."

Other featured experts include: Dr. Bill Chameides, dean of the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke University; Stephen Lacey, deputy editor of Climate Progress at the Center for American Progress, Dr. Michael Levi, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; Dr. Richard Newell, former administrator of U.S. Energy Information Administration; Jonathan Stern, senior fellow at Oxford University; among others from Centenary College, Duke University, the University of Houston, Rice University and the University of Texas.

A Look Inside the Rational Middle
The first three films in the "Rational Middle Energy Series" were released today, and the remaining films will be unveiled throughout the summer beginning July 11. Upon release, each film will be available to either download or view online at

Film Title Overview Release Date
---------- -------- ------------
What's the Learn about the vision of the
Rational "rational middle" and the film
Middle Energy series.
Series? June 27, 2012
-------------- ------------------------------ -------------
Energy 101 Explore the historical evolution
of energy and the fundamentals
of where it comes from and how
(and how much) we use it. June 27, 2012
---------- --------------------------------- -------------
What's at Experts assess the current state
Stake of energy and challenges and
opportunities we face for the
future. June 27, 2012
--------- --------------------------------- -------------
The Great As a sustainable energy future
Transition comes into focus, experts
discuss the set of choices,
tradeoffs and technology that
must be considered for every
energy source. July 11, 2012
----------- ------------------------------- -------------
About the Rational Middle Energy Series
The "Rational Middle Energy Series" is a series of short films about energy and its future, created by the team that produced the acclaimed documentary "Haynesville: A Nation's Hunt for An Energy Future." The Rational Middle invites an open discussion with the goal of creating a path towards a better energy future for all.

For more information about the "Rational Middle Energy Series" and to join the conversation, visit and our Facebook page.

About Shell and the "Rational Middle Energy Series"
Planning wisely to meet the world's increasing energy needs is one of the most important challenges of our generation. Shell knows it's going to take a whole new level of collaboration and leadership to develop workable policies and solutions to meet the energy challenge. We welcome, invite and even create opportunities to work in partnership with anyone who can help us do what we do better. We hope the Rational Middle Energy Series can drive conversation and build stronger relationships that will move us toward a cleaner energy future.

The Rational Middle Energy Series is sponsored by Shell. The views expressed are those of the speakers and may not necessarily reflect the views of Shell or any of its affiliates. Our role includes sponsoring the films and promotion of the series, providing early input into the themes for the episodes, and verifying certain factual information. Gregory Kallenberg and his team retained creative control of the filming and production process.

Watch the trailer to the film at

Edelman Public Relations
Danielle Allen, 713-970-2137

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