Award-Winning Rational Middle Energy Series Launches Season Two

Director and Producer Gregory Kallenberg to premiere new films on a live Google Hangout

Sep 17, 2013, 10:56 ET from Rational Middle Energy Series

HOUSTON, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As global energy demand rises, so does the magnitude of the energy challenges we face. With an abundance of innovative thinkers, advanced new technologies and bold entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to step past the gridlock consuming the energy debate and lead the world to a cleaner energy future.

Inspired by the idea that we could leave behind the polarizing noise and rhetoric surrounding our energy future, director and producer Gregory Kallenberg set out to uncover the facts about energy—leading to the development of the Rational Middle Energy Series, a series of thought-provoking short films about energy and its future. Creating a space for people to discover facts about our energy landscape, the Rational Middle not only incited a dynamic and balanced discussion, it also sparked a movement toward creating a cleaner energy future.

Season Two of Rational Middle Energy Series debuts today—featuring 12 new films—and will kick off with a live Google Hangout event, followed by a panel discussion featuring a host of experts and questions from viewers, in the spirit of open discussion.

"Over the past year, we have been astounded by the discussions taking place and people coalescing around the idea that together, we can create a cleaner energy future. Season One laid a foundation of the energy challenges we face—from extraction to consumption and its impact on our civilization and environment including perhaps the most important, climate change," said Kallenberg. "In Season Two, we build on this momentum by diving deeper into transportation, efficiency and conservation, renewables and natural gas, to begin looking for answers that will allow us to overcome obstacles and move forward with the infinite possibilities afforded us by technological advancement, policy action and the sheer will of humanity."

"When it comes to modern renewables producing electricity, there is not a very long history. And there are really several different sources of renewables that people think about," said Brian Parsons, former transmission and grid integration group manager for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). "You can talk about hydro power, you can talk about geothermal, you can talk about biomass, municipal solid waste, as well as wind and solar. The question is:  what future do we want to choose?"

Rational Middle Energy Series – Season Two:  About the Films

Season Two is comprised of 12 films which will be released throughout the fall 2013. Upon release, each film will be available to either download or view online at

Film title                


Getting to Go: Tackling the Future of Transportation

Explore the future of transportation, from natural gas vehicles to electric motors and beyond.

Squeezing the Watt:  Conservation and Efficiency

Learn about how we as individuals can reduce energy consumption in our daily lives.

The Future of Renewables

Learn about the benefits and challenges facing a renewable energy system and how we can achieve it.

Shale Gas 201: Further Exploration of a Domestic Resource

Explore how natural gas can help the economy recover from the Great Recession, and look at its relationship with renewables.

The Energy Life of Sustainable Beer

Follow New Belgium brewery and discover how it creates a sustainable beer.

Two Days in the Life of Environmentalist Ed Whittingham

Follow Ed Whittingham, director of the Pembina Institute, as he and his team work to give a voice to environmental interests in Canada and North America.

Two Days in the Life of Operations Team Lead Melissa Morris

Follow Melissa Morris, Shell Oil engineer in the Eagle Ford shale formation, as she travels to rig sites to bring resources to market.

Energy's Crossroads:  Pinedale, Wyoming

Learn about the benefits and challenges the town of Pinedale, Wyoming, faced after a 2007 energy boom.

Fugitive Methane:  An Unknown Quantity

Discover the impacts of methane, a component of natural gas and potent greenhouse gas, and answer questions such as how much is leaking and what we can do to prevent it.

Energy Crossroads:  Dawson Creek, BC


Follow the Canadian community of Dawson Creek as they work with the energy industry to prevent drilling activity from affecting their water resources.

Canada Energy 101


Discover how Canada uses and consumes its energy sources, and explore the basics of energy use in modern civilization.

Canada's Way Forward

Explore how Canada moves toward a cleaner energy future.

Google Hangout Premiere Event and Panel Discussion Details

Details surrounding the Season Two launch event on Google Hangout can be found below and at  

Event: Live Google Hangout Premiere Event
When:  Tuesday, September 17 at 3 PM ET | 2 PM CT | 12 NOON PT
Featured film: The Future of Renewables

Featured panelists: 

  • Richard Caperton, Center for American Progress
  • Richard Newell, Duke University Energy Initiative
  • Karen Palmer, Resources for the Future
  • Eric Drummond, Husch Blackwell LLP

For more information about the Rational Middle Energy Series and to join the conversation, visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Shell Oil Company (Shell) is sponsoring the film series.

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About the Rational Middle Energy Series
The Rational Middle Energy Series is a series of short films about energy and its future, created by the team that produced the acclaimed documentary Haynesville: A Nation's Hunt for an Energy Future. The Rational Middle invites an open discussion with the goal of creating a path toward a better energy future for all.

About Shell and the Rational Middle Energy Series
The Rational Middle Energy Series is sponsored by Shell Oil Company (Shell). Planning wisely to meet the world's increasing energy needs is one of the most important challenges of our generation. Shell knows it's going to take a whole new level of collaboration and leadership to develop workable policies and solutions to meet the energy challenge. We welcome, invite and even create opportunities to work in partnership with anyone who can help us do what we do better. We hope the Rational Middle Energy Series can drive conversation and build stronger relationships that will move us toward a cleaner energy future.

The views expressed as part of the series are those of the speakers or other participants and may not necessarily reflect the views of Shell or any of its affiliates.  Shell's role includes sponsoring the films and promotion of the series, providing early input into the themes for the episodes, and requiring verification of certain factual information. Shell and its affiliates also provide grants and other funds to some of the educational and other institutions with which some of the speakers are associated. Gregory Kallenberg and his team retained creative control of the filming and production process.

Danielle Allen| Edelman

SOURCE Rational Middle Energy Series