In 2006, the United States Geological Survey estimated that more than 200 billion barrels of crude oil rested in a previously unreachable formation beneath western North Dakota. Oil companies from far and wide began descending on small rural towns across the state with men and machinery in tow. Crude Independence travels to the town of Stanley (population 1,300) atop the largest oil discovery in the history of North America and captures the change wrought by the unprecedented boom. Townsfolk--store owners, farmers, and county officials--had lived there for decades when the oil men began to arrive searching for clear information on the rightful owners of the land and the riches that flow beneath it. Through revealing interviews and breathtaking imagery of the northern plains, Crude Independence is a rumination on the future of small town America--a tale of change at the hands of the global energy market. Framed by the July 4th parade down Stanley's Main Street, the film presents a modern American tale of how one resource so far below ground can dramatically affect life on the surface.
Title from resource description page (viewed Apr. 14, 2014).