No Fracking Way

Fracking wasn’t around years ago or we didn’t really know about it. Truth is, we don’t really know much about it now either. It’s just drilling into the Earth for oil, it’s quite frankly, The American Way. I guess wealth is measured in oil. When do we take a look at the planet and say, “hmm maybe we have enough oil?” We have too much American Pride to admit that.

Before US Steel wanted to frack in a neighboring community, I wasn’t too concerned with fracking. Sometimes we have that, “it would never happen here, not in my neighborhood,” mentality and I was wrong. My optimism has a way of biting me in the butt sometimes. March 2019 I found myself in a packed firehall full of furious residents from the three boroughs the Edgar Thomas Steel Mill sits in explaining to the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) why fracking wasn’t welcomed here.

There’s a community garden, with a steel mill as a backdrop and if you look really closely you can see a rollercoaster at Kennywood.

Braddock has always had subpar air quality. It would be a slap in the face to residents to add fracking to the equation. We’re right by the river and a predominately black community. The proposed well would be the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. We were being asked to trust US Steel and Merrion Oil and we could without a doubt say that fracking was a hard no for us. It was a harder pass for us when Merrion Oil filed for fracking permits and yet had no emergency preparedness plan for if things went awry. We even asked if the people who represented Merrion Oil had wells in their neighborhoods and all but one said, no.


It was an interview with France 24 that a lightbulb went off. The American government would go to strange lengths to get in their own way. Our governments are spending so much money trying to balance budgets that will never be balanced. Fracking isn’t the answer. In a last ditch effort, I’d recommend just decriminalizing cannabis and cashing in on it. The argument for that is instead of destroying the Earth, we’re planting something in the Earth. One of these industries cause more harm than the other and states that have already legalized cannabis are cashing in.

The only downside to the cannabis industry is the fact that there are so many African Americans in jail for cannabis than there needs to be. Even in states where its been legal, being charged for possession can mean you can’t work in the industry, even if you know more than the person who legally possesses it. Some states have legalized weed and made it retroactive but until they all do, it will continue to create the systematic issues that it’s created for African Americans. It’s another example of The American Justice system getting in its own way.

In a time when communities should be growing, we’ve found ourselves wanting to discover new ways to destroy the planet and in essence destroying ourselves.

America, let’s feed the few at the expense of the many.


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