New documentary chronicles small town's struggle with a sudden oil boom
The tiny town of Parshall, N.D., is isolated, windswept and frigid, like most northwestern American communities. With a population of 1,073, Parshall holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in North Dakota (–60 degrees Fahrenheit). The economy of this small community, like so many other similar towns across America, has been in steep decline for many years. As manufacturing and farming jobs have moved overseas, town residents have sought greener pastures and a better life. But recently, something amazing happened:
Below the wheat fields and the grocery store and the high school football field, surveyors discovered oil — barrels upon barrels of thick, unrefined, highly sought-after crude oil. Planet Green's original docu-series BOOMTOWN, airing Saturdays at 10 PM (ET) beginning on January 29, tells the tale of this struggling American town in the midst of a profound reversal of fortune.
BOOMTOWN is an unconventional case study of how the domestic oil and gas industries are exploring every option here on U.S. soil — but at what cost? In an illustration of what's happening in small towns across America, practically overnight, many of Parshall's residents and landowners are transformed from ordinary folks into millionaires. But not everyone gets rich quick, and not everyone thinks this new development will end well for the residents of the town.
BOOMTOWN is a five-episode series produced for Planet Green.