Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Article Image Alt Text

The “Battle for the Heart of Texas” documentary, which highlights the struggle between home owners and Kinder Morgan’s construction of the Permian Highway Pipeline, will screen in San Marcos on Thursday. Film still courtesy of Jeffrey Brown

‘Battle for the Heart of Texas’ screens Thursday at Price Center

Saturday, September 3, 2022

A documentary detailing the battle between Kinder Morgan and local landowners over the construction of the Permian Highway Pipeline is set to screen at The Price Center & Garden.

The heralded feature documentary film “Battle for the Heart of Texas” screens Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in San Marcos, with a pre-film reception at 6:30 p.m.

Directed and produced by Wimberley’s John C. Brown, along with producer Jeffrey Brown of San Marcos-based Big Day Pictures, the film details the battle over the construction of the pipeline running from West Texas to Houston through the middle of the Texas Hill Country.

The film’s director said the project started organically once residents across the Texas Hill Country began receiving calls from representatives of the billion-dollar energy company in 2018 and has been driven by not only by Hill Country residents’ accounts of how events unfolded but also by his own findings from the company and elsewhere during the four-year journey to make the film.

“There is a planning phase for two years or more before any landowner, any municipality or any county government finds out that they’re going to build a pipeline through that area,” Brown said. “That’s exactly what happened here. People in 2018 and 2019 were being visited by land agents from Kinder Morgan, informing them that their property was on the route of this pipeline.”

Brown added that one of the goals of the independent film was to communicate the importance of protecting the environment and more specifically water resources affected by the pipeline, but that the film’s main mission was to highlight the disruption of Texas property rights.

“Property rights are an inalienable right and as a Texan, to own your property, to have that peace of mind that you are protected — nothing could be further from the truth,” Brown said.

The Hill Country has largely been spared such pipeline encroachment partly because of its rocky, hilly terrain and because of the 1973 Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Agency protecting the area.

“We’re talking about a 42-inch, 1,400-PSI natural gas pipeline,” Brown said. “It’s one of the largest natural gas pipelines built in the world through the Hill Country, and which has traditionally been left alone by pipelines in the state.”

“Have you ever tried to dig a hole in the Hill Country?” Brown said with a smile.  This question also appears in the film and has never failed to elicit laughter from audiences ranging from its Earth X Film Festival premiere in Dallas in May to screenings at the Hill Country Film Festival in Fredericksburg in summer to recent impact screenings in Buda and Wimberley in late August.

The filmmakers hope the impact screenings such as the one in San Marcos will ultimately motivate locals to contact their representatives regarding eminent domain reform bills and that the film can have some impact on moving the bar.

“There’s an old adage that one pipeline follows another,” Brown said.

For more information and tickets, visit

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666