selected appearances by

Barbara Boxer

 

Richard Branson

 

Sheryl Crow

Laurie David

Larry David

James Gennaro

Larry Hagman

Woody Harrelson

Jay Inslee

Jack Johnson

 

Bud Mcfarlane

 

Willie Nelson

Josh Tickell

Neil Young

Jim Woolsey

 

SYNOPSIS

Most Americans know we’ve got a problem: an addiction to oil that taxes the environment, entangles us in costly foreign policies, and threatens the nation’s long-term stability. But few are informed or empowered enough to do much about it. Enter Josh Tickell, an expert young activist who, driven by his own emotionally charged motives, shuttles us on a revelatory, whirlwind journey to unravel this addiction—from its historical origins to political constructs that support it, to alternatives available now and the steps we can take to change things. Tickell tracks the rising domination of the petrochemical industry—from Rockefeller’s strategy to halt ethanol use in Ford’s first cars to the mysterious death of Rudolph Diesel at the height of his biodiesel engine’s popularization, to our government’s choice to declare war after 9/11, rather than wean the country from fossil fuel. Never minimizing the complexities of ending oil dependence, Tickell uncovers a hopeful reality pointing toward a decentralized, sustainable energy infrastructure—like big rigs tanking up on biofuel at Carl’s Corner Texas truck stop, a new Brooklyn biodiesel plant serving three states, a miraculous Arizona algae-based fuel farm, and the Swedish public voting to be petroleum free by 2020. Sweeping and exhilarating, Tickell’s passionate film goes beyond great storytelling; it rings out like a bell that stirs consciousness and makes individual action suddenly seem consequential. Josh Tickell, a leading expert on alternative fuels, grew up in Louisiana, where members of his family suffered from diseases linked to pollution from oil refineries. After discovering biodiesel, he earned an MFA in film from Florida State University's School of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts to chronicle and vitalize the green-energy movement. He has been working on Fields of Fuel for 10 years. Tickell also authored a controversial companion book, Biodiesel America—How to Achieve Energy Security, Free America from Middle-East Oil Dependence, and Make Money Growing Fuel. --© Sundance Film Festival