As I sat patiently in a large conference auditorium in Pine Mountain, Georgia, listening to presentations on corporate sustainability and green building practices, I have to admit I was a little nervous about the first-ever public viewing of Unplugged. I tried to concentrate on remarks by Coca-Cola’s sustainability director while several versions of my unscripted introductory remarks rattled around in my head.
Several months prior, I accepted an invitation to present at the annual meeting of the Southern District of the Air & Waste Management Association. The meeting is an assembly of those who regulate air, waste, and water, those who routinely deal with regulators, and all of those in supporting industries like environmental consulting and legal practices. Initially, I envisioned my presentation being about the current regulatory environment being created by Congress and the EPA, as it was last year when I spoke to the same gathering in Mobile, Alabama. But with the documentary project having completed its initial 20-minute version for conferences and town hall meetings, I offered a special screening of the piece to the conference’s organizers. And they said yes.
Unplugged is very critical of the EPA’s general direction when it comes to regulation and the economy. Imagine my surprise then when I not only saw a number of EPA personnel on the conference agenda, but when it turned out that an EPA employee was to introduce me!
In the end, the screening was a great success. Some of the one hundred people in attendance agreed with the point of view of the piece. Some did not agree. But the documentary captured their attention, made them think, elicited a number of great questions from the audience, and even made them laugh once or twice.
More than anything, Unplugged sparked a conversation about energy policy, and that is what my colleagues and I set out to do. We look forward to bringing the piece to audiences across the nation and sparking what we hope is a robust and productive dialogue that leads to common sense energy solutions.
– Lance Brown, Executive Producer of Unplugged