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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

In Search of Oil

Air Date: Week of March 11, 2005

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With skyrocketing gas prices and U.S. determination to wean ourselves from foreign oil, companies are looking for new energy sources close to home. Rich Pliskin and his Players of Princeton, New Jersey imagine that it won't be long before drilling comes to a neighborhood near you.

Transcript

CURWOOD: With oil prices topping $50 a barrel, the race is on for new sources of oil and gas to keep up with consumer demand. In Congress, efforts to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration are underway once again. And in Texas, oilrigs are drilling deep and wide, not only in the arid plains, but also in a Houston neighborhood, in search of untapped sources of black gold.

The thirst for energy has Princeton, New Jersey writer Rich Pliskin and his Players wondering how long it will be before energy wildcatters wind up in your front yard.

[CLINKING OF SPOON AGAINST CUP]

ROGER: Ahh. Thanks, hon.

CINDY: Light 'n sweet. Just the way you like it.

ROGER: Couldn't live without it.

[HELICOPTOR SOUND]

CINDY: Is that a helicopter?

ROGER: Not in this neighborhood.

[HELICOPTOR CONTINUES. BIRD CHIRPING]

CINDY: Roger, there's a chopper in the front yard!

ROGER: What the –

[DOORBELL RINGS]

FOREMAN: Roger Martin? Of 10 Clampett Court?

ROGER: Yes, that's right. Who are you? And what are all these trucks doing on my front lawn!

FOREMAN: [CALLING OUT TO WORK CREW]

This is it, fellas! Let's start punchin' holes!

[HUGE TRUCK SOUNDS; DRILLING]

ROGER: What's the meaning of this? Who are you?

FOREMAN: We're NERC.

[CALLING OUT]

Pound that baby down, Fred! That's it!

ROGER: NARC? There's no drug dealing here!

FOREMAN: That's "NERC." National Energy Recovery Corp. Part of the governmental-petroleum complex.

ROGER: I don't understand.

[POUNDING SOUND]

FOREMAN: NERC satellite says your yard's got the richest vein of light sweet crude this side of the Board of Ed building.

CINDY: Oil? You're drilling for oil? In my peonies?

FOREMAN: Plenty of it, m'aam. Government's under pressure to top off those tanks, at least through November.

[CALLING OUT} Get that derrick in here, Freddy! That's it!

CINDY: My yard isn't an oil field. It's – it's a yard! Roger?

ROGER: Now see here, NARC, or NERC or –

FOREMAN: Whoaaa..Comin' down!

[CRACK OF TREE FALLING, THEN CRASH OF METAL AND GLASS]

CINDY: My hummer!

FOREMAN: You, uhh, might wanna move the vehicles off the work site, m'aam.

CINDY: It's not a work site! It's a mulch bed!

DRYSDALE: [CALLING OUT] Hey, Rog!

ROGER: [GROANS] AW, not Drysdale.

DRYSDALE: I hear you're sittin' on a goldmine!

ROGER: What?

DRYSDALE: They found coal under Furman's pool. Smithers has tungsten!

ROGER: Oh, my god. That's awful!

DRYSDALE: Awful? They're rich! Do you have any idea what they're paying for the drilling leases?

CINDY: Drilling leases?

[KA-CHING!]

ROGER: Honey?

CINDY: Zip it, Roger.

[TO DRYSDALE]

What are these leases you're talking about?

DRYSDALE: Let's just say their brokers' suddenly taking their calls. Say, what happened to the hummer?

CINDY: Hey! Hey, Mr. Energy man!

ROGER: But, sweetheart! The peonies!

CINDY: Get that wreck outta there, Freddy!

ROGER: Honey?

CINDY: Cut 'er up, drag 'er out and let's the goop outta the ground. Move it, move it, move it! Let's go!

[TRUCK IDLING FADES UNDER]

CURWOOD: A little satire, courtesy of Rich Pliskin and his Players of Princeton, New Jersey.

[TRUCK IDLING CROSSFADES TO BIRD SINGING]

 

 

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