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CROSSETT: Small-town David vs. corporate Goliath

georgia-pacific plant in crossett arkansas

Environmental regulations kill jobs. If companies didn’t have to spend money on such nonsense, they could afford to hire more people. That’s a consistent narrative coming out of the right-wing media in this country, and one that’s heavily promoted by various nonprofit organizations funded by Charles and David Koch (aka the Koch brothers). The brothers and their company, Koch Industries, have also paid out millions in lobbying expenses and contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians willing to fight various forms of environmental regulation.

That’s just business, right? Tell that to the folks in Crossett, Arkansas, a small town just north of the Louisiana state line. Georgia-Pacific — a paper-products company acquired by Koch Industries in 2005 — is the only employer in the community. Of course, there’s not a huge demand for employment in Crossett, as many of its residents are sick. Some live on respirators. Others have cancer. They’re pretty sure that pollution from Georgia-Pacific is causing all of this illness, but many don’t want to speak up — they work for the company, after all.

A documentary in production, CROSSETT, aims to speak up for these people, whether or not they want to speak up for themselves. Director and producer Natalie Kottke came across Crossett while working on the film KOCH BROTHERS EXPOSED and decided these people needed their story told as well. She’s focused not only on the town’s residents, such as Pastor David Bouie, but also the environmental experts who’ve warned for years about the threats posed by Georgia-Pacific’s various emissions. Take a look at what she’s put together so far:

Goliath, meet David. At this point, the film’s still getting off the ground: Kottke and her partners have launched an Indiegogo flexible funding campaign to pay for starting production. If you’re inspired by what you see here, consider kicking in a few bucks — a film like this could literally save lives.

Got a favorite film that pits a small town against a corporate giant? ERIN BROCKOVICH? A CIVIL ACTION? Others? Share your thoughts with us.

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Photo credit: Screen capture from the CROSSETT video