Visualizing Prosperity

Portrait of a Contemporary Sacrifice Zone

“If I had a choice, I'd leave. Everything is poisonous here. If it weren't for my grandkids, I would leave.” Janice Blanock, collaborator in FrackLand Tours and Community Activist.

PA 2019 Fracked Gas Production. FracTracker

900 feet thick and 419 million years old, the Marcellus Shale formation provides 104,000 square miles of natural gas reserves, limestone, and pyrite. Because of this abundance of natural resources not all to far from the surface, it has launched Pennsylvania into an economic boom of fracking, mining, and drilling.

Introduction and Methods

In his book, Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States, Steve Lerner argues the "Sacrifice Zone" designation to extend to a broad array of fence line communities or hot spots of chemical pollution where residents live immediately adjacent to heavy polluting industries. While the government concedes that the production of nuclear energy has caused a small number of Americans to make a health and economic sacrifice for their national security, they ignore a much larger group of low- income and minority Americans exposed to chemical pollution whose health is sacrificed twice as much.

After reading Amity and Prosperity by Eliza Griswold, and becoming increasingly educated regarding the prevalence of both Oil and Gas wells and the number of activists taking a stand against the growing severity of emotional and physical sacrifice in Southwestern PA, our Capstone group decided this would be an insightful and accessible region in which to not only study the culture of contemporary Sacrifice Zones in our region, but attempt to raise awareness, and produce helpful research as well, that cements an understanding of their plight.

By employing methods of participant observation, informal and semi-structured interviews, graphic photographic visualization, and a plethora of primary and secondary literary sources, we intend for our page to not only help paint and visualize a portrait of how fracking has affected life, culture, and social relations in Southwestern, Pa, but also offer up what we find as the most efficacious means to organize, assist, and understand activists and residents in a social world that often resists environmentalists and closes its door to outsiders.

First photo: Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance, 2021.

Bottom: Lauren Bowlin, 2022.

Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance. 2020.

Our Areas of Study and Articles Detailing Research

Olympus Energy - Deception and Obstruction

To be a resident in this region is to have legitimate concerns discredited, downplayed, or even manipulated. Often times, real community risks, such as light pollution, sound pollution, or general destruction of scenery and secure public spaces, are treated as arbitrary side effects rather than immense and social loss. We used the story of Olympus Energy to focus on this issue and gauge public reactions, and reception, when their concerns are ignored. The following story is from West Deer, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania.

Olympus Energy had proposed to drill two well pads on the border of Allegheny county. Residents opposed this, and held public hearings to determine the fate of the energy comany's construction.

  • Olympus Energy's two proposed wells, Dionysus and Leto, are, and would have been drilled through flooded mines near Deer Lakes Park

  • Olympus Energy had placed Dionysus too close to a pre-existing building (<650 ft away), argued they had not violated any regulations

  • When discussing the effects of the wells in a public hearing, civil engineer Joe Blickenderfer, argued that the well at hand did not produce blinding lights, though had never even seen the well with the lights on, or been to the premises at night

  • Final decision on Leto is expected by June 30th, 2022

Environmental Activists Tim and Jo Resciniti, a lovely couple we had the pleasure of interviewing to better understand Olympus Energy's encroachment on community life. Photo Courtesy from the Rescinitis.

Barb Jarmoska. 2010. Photo courtsey of FracTracker Alliance.

Accessing Risk and Perceptions of Culpability in a Culture of "Not Directly Linked"

Luke Blanock of Canonsburg, PA, was only 19 when he passed away from an extremely rare form of Pediatric bone cancer, Ewing Sarcoma. A teammate, son, brother, and husband, the loss of such a kind, resilient, and deeply loved person as Luke on its own is indescribably devastating, the pain unequivocal. This loss, however, is not a closed chapter to read back upon in the Blanock Family, but rather is still being written by the unanswered questions, a burning sense of injustice, and frightening implications as to what could have catalyzed his condition beyond fate or simple chance.

Janice Blanock realized that Luke’s condition may not have been such a random occurrence when, upon waiting for Luke’s treatment to conclude at a hospital in Ohio, she encountered a mother whose daughter had the exact same prognosis. To her shock and dismay, they discovered they only lived a mile apart back home in Cecil, PA. This suspicion only deepened when Luke’s old teammate, Mitchell Barton, was also diagnosed with this condition. Both had played with the Cecil Township Youth Baseball Association, on a field heavily (and ironically) sponsored by EQT, the largest Oil and Natural Gas provider in Appalachia. Finally, cementing her concerns, was the realization that the death of Curt Valent, a junior at Robert Morris University, years prior was the result of Ewing tumors in his lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and spleen. To understand how baffling and shocking this is, it is important to understand the extreme rarity of Ewing Sarcoma; in the entire U.S., with an entire population of 330 million, only around 200 cases are diagnosed every year (NORD, 2013). To have four cases concentrated in the same region, all occurring within the last decade, seemed absurd, improbable, and undeniably terrifying. The whole town was beginning to sense a rising fear and concern as palpable as fog, and just as illusive. It became clear that not only was something going terribly wrong with the environment and a poison was polluting the community, but the mega corporations and other powers at large were not willing to address these concerns. Almost seeming insidious, Oil and Gas giants such as Range Resources and EQT would refuse to grapple with these allegations in light of potential lost profit and a refusal to take accountability that would define their environmental position for years to come.

Janice Blanock does not stand alone in this belief of causation beyond coincidence, and many other activists and scientists have come to similar conclusions. An expansive new analysis by Yale School of Public Health researchers confirms that numerous carcinogens involved in the controversial practice of natural gas hydraulic fracturing have the potential to contaminate air and water in nearby communities. Of the 119 compounds with sufficient data, 44 percent of the water pollutants and 60 percent of air pollutants were either confirmed or possible carcinogens. Because some chemicals could be released to both air and water, the study revealed a total of 55 unique compounds with carcinogenic potential. Furthermore, 20 chemicals had evidence of increased risk for leukemia or lymphoma specifically (Meyer, 2016). This scientific conclusion is not even altogether entirely recent, as attested to by a 1991 study by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, a research facility of the Department of Energy, that analyzed health risks posed by radium isotopes in the waste produced by conventional gas drilling. “Two isotopes of radium (Ra-226 and Ra-228) are the radionuclides of most concern,” the report read. Radium, which attaches to bone, is known to cause cancers and other illnesses (Griswold 2021). Southwestern PA is especially affected by these pollutants, being a hot spot of drilling and private leases on top of the Marcellus Shale, and home to over 1300 oil and gas wells in Greene and Washington county alone.

Despite growing evidence and numerous independent studies finding fracking to cause contamination that seeps into water, soil, and air that directly impacts residents to a measurable and quantifiable degree, the state of Pennsylvania’s health department, politicians, and even residents undermine this perception of risk, meeting stories such as Janice’s with skepticism, or even hostility. The 2022 Pennsylvania Health Department Report on Ewing Sarcoma did show that Ewing Tumors and Childhood cancer occur at a higher rate in fracking counties, but the difference was not statistically significant (Department of Health, 2020). When she inquired to her doctor about these odds, he explained, “If you were to throw up a handful of pennies in the air, wouldn't some land in the same place?”, as if these people's lives were chump change killed by the rules of gravity, and not a potentially preventable ailment. Even among her own neighbors, Janice Blanock admitted to me in an interview we held in April 2022 that she still felt some of them did not believe that Luke’s, or Mitchell's or Curt's illnesses were connected to anything other than cruel fate or misfortune. During an interview with Lois Bower-Bjornsen, an environmental activist, dancer, and mother of four, who founded FrackLand Tours to raise awareness of loss among her neighbors, she meets this disbelief and wariness with a tempered understanding. "I get it", she states, explaining to me how the economic conditions of Southwestern PA have created a culture of poverty, desperation, and general financial insecurity. When faced with the minimal jobs and simply invaluable opportunity gas companies create, how can you tell these people to sacrifice their own life stability for a cause they can just as easily set aside in the back burner of their mind? We note in our capstone research how it seems that because of this disparity, it typically takes extremely intimate and physical consequences to alert and spark people into action. Years of extractivism, subjugation, and pollution has ensured that only an extreme and personal assessment of risk will justify action to mitigate it. This is exemplified in both Eliza Griswold's book, Amity and Prosperity, and in Lois's FrackLand tour official walkthrough, in which often times sacrifice of land, health, and property is seen as a "patriotic duty," akin to fighting in a war, in order to ensure national security, energy independence, and economic prosperity. Further research would be necessary in order to find the roots of these ideas and misconceptions, but they play a very important role in creating what is deemed "necessary risk" within more traditional, working class, and conservative communities.

This divide in community assessment of risk and corporate/state accountability and culpability leads to an interesting and provocative question: what is it like to live in a toxic environment in which the perceived consequences are “not directly linked”? How does this change the culture of motherhood, family life, safety, and perceived risk? How do we bridge the gaps between what science finds to be “objectively true”, and community perceptions and experiences of risk and quality of life? While I think this is an issue that warrants much deeper and more flushed out research, from our own short few months talking with many affected residents and activists, we can offer our own perspectives, as well as possibly propose ways in which we believe human experience can still be as tangible, material, and consequential as scientific "facts." This is significantly seen in our research as perceptions of inescapable fate, poison, and a destruction of trust that extends past corporate perception into the realms of family, neighbor, and public life. Poignantly, Janice Blanock will not let her husband buy a lake house in Pennsylvania because she will not swim or fish in the waters, assessing it to be tainted and dangerous. She has lived here her entire life, has family, history, and countless memories here. Her son lived here. Yet, she confided that she would leave if she could take everyone with her. Viscerally, Janice tells her daughter to keep her kid's teeth, just in case of the worst, if they might be needed for research. We also interviewed Tim and Jo, an activist couple that fights to save Deer Lake near Pittsburgh, that left the region to go further North to protect their kids, but now must defend public parks against the exact same enemy. To be a parent in a sacrifice zone is to be afraid for your children, and we have taken note of a correlation between older activists and parenthood. It is not hard to conceptualize how this fear might extend deeper into culture, family, and childhood. Once part of a rich Appalachian Mountain range, it is no longer safe to fish. Backyards are now laced with carcinogens, public parks disrupted by rumbling trucks, and stars blotted out by blinding construction lights. The sacrifice continues.

Finally, we can also try to holistically comprehend the impoverished and isolationist cultural context that shapes some Southwestern PA residents' vehement denial of environmental pollution, as well as what types of personal experiences with pollution motivate others to speak out and brazenly contest. In this as well lies the answers to how anthropologists like us can best integrate, understand, and assist a community we enter into as outsiders. As we begin to understand grassroots activism as happening less because of increased education and awareness, but more so because of personal experience and testimony, as activist and engaged anthropologists we can hope to speak to the needs of affected residents by helping amplify the distinctions between "necessary" and "unnecessary" sacrifice. We can emphasize the weight of seemingly "arbitrary" losses, such as a neighbor's peach tree or the soil of a family garden. If we can help conceptualize all these dimensions as crucial to culture building, we can make the argument that communities infiltrated by oil and gas become sacrifice zones whose needs for education, social programs, and food security become paramount. It is evident that in these Sacrifice Zones, federal, state, and local officials are unwilling to take community concerns seriously, and they most often choose to not involve themselves with community members or allocate community-based research and collaboration. As proposed by Melissa Checker in her article, "But I know It's True: Environmental Risk Assessment, Justice, and Anthropology", community members should be given the platform and ability to speak up and advocate for themselves, but until they are taken seriously, it may be helpful for us as anthropologists to help as mediators. In grassroots activist groups such as Coalfield Justice, Frack Tracker Alliance, and others, those who can speak the language of academia and institutions such as the EPA are essential in translating legal and technical barriers these marginalized groups already experience. The stigma and hostility environmentalists often face within traditional rural communities, however, means we must work directly with grassroots activists from these areas rather than approach residents as "voices of reason." Thus, our research informs us on how best to translate this information, and places collaboration on the forefront of our mission.

Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance. 2020.

Frackturing a Community

When companies come into town, they try to establish themselves within the community as quickly as possible. In the case of Western Pennsylvania, fracking companies have an advantage. Anastasia Hudgins researched the history of extraction in Southwestern PA (Hudgins, 2013). Hudgins notes how these areas have a long history with coal and tend to be more receptive to the extraction industry. The natural gas industry is able to continue this form of extraction in these economically depressed communities as previous histories of failed extractive economies have left townspeople desperate for a solution. This history of parasitic relationships left Western PA open to the next wave of the extraction industry.

Given the history of the area, companies were able to infiltrate Western Pennsylvania by participating in local events to foster feelings of trust and goodwill. Griswold details an experience of a small town Western Pennsylvanian family, the Haneys of Amity, PA regarding their local state fair and the gas company Range Resources (Griswold 2018). Range Resources began to get involved in the Washington County Fair in 2006 in an effort to win over the hearts and minds of the community. Free merchandise such as tote bags, hats, water bottles and various other insignificant objects were used as a means of winning the favor of these townspeople in the hope that they would welcome leasing their land with open arms. Pushing the narrative in which selling one’s mineral rights would make one wealthy, and fast at that, led many people to sign leases for which they had very little knowledge of their actual terms. The use of complex legal and technical jargon, as a tool, is an important way in which these companies manage to avoid responsibilities for fracking related issues such as well water contamination. Due to the history of extractivism in this area, many people in these communities see fracking as a new opportunity to provide what coal did not, thus in the beginning, people seemed happy to see a new company in town. Townspeople liked seeing these companies take the initiative of getting involved with the community. They saw their “involvement in the fair as a gesture of neighborliness” (Griswold 2018, 31). These friendly gestures, however, were not without strings attached or consequences.

Gas companies such as Range Resources utilize visual imagery and evocative language to shape their role in these communities as a means of corporate propaganda rather than for the sake of “neighborliness.” Often, this “figure of the neighbor becomes a site of contradiction and emergence, caught between inclusion and exclusion, the collective and the individual, the private and the public” (Grobe 2020, 107). By these means, gas companies can be seen to push the contradictory narrative that they are harbingers of community-building to communities that are already tight-knit. “To be a good neighbor” is the language used consistently in various forms of media propaganda. Tim Resciniti, an anti-fracking activist, explained in an interview that commercials on TV, the radio, and local newspapers were used in the effort to convince communities that Range Resources and the resulting barrage of employees were normal neighbors (Resciniti 2022). The idea of “the neighbor” has been warped and its definition changed to suit corporate needs. The idealized "good American neighbor" is tied to a long history of private property ownership, but gas companies have ironically placed themselves within this trope while simultaneously invading private property through the exploitation of mineral rights. In many of these propaganda commercials, “deictic language situates the speaker among the working-class communities that the advertisements target and also works to position the natural gas company such that it ‘enters the narrative as a paternal figure’” (Grobe 2020, 108). The idea that these companies are not only good neighbors, but quasi-parental figures as well results in many communities trusting the decisions of these companies implicitly. With promises of quick financial gain, a seemingly good-intentioned trustworthy company can easily sway those down on their luck looking for a way out. Tim Resciniti noted how language in the local newspaper understated the intelligence of the community and yet seemed to attract new hires from those very same communities, as an Olympus Energy representative was quoted as saying, “you don't have to be the best or the brightest to work in oil and gas” (Resciniti 2022). With the manipulation of language, gas companies are able to create the illusion of an interpersonal emotional relationship between communities and these companies, relationships that are based on false promises and a sense of dependence that binds these communities to fracking.

It is no surprise then that the people of Western PA were excited at the prospect of bringing economic growth back into their communities. They welcomed the companies into their community (Griswold 2018). This was out of character for other members of the community such as Jo Resciniti. Resciniti has lived in Western PA since she was two years old and her family is still regarded as newcomers. She couldn't help but get frustrated at the double standard that the townspeople were showing when the gas companies came. This neighborly attitude was never given to her family: “They were letting Range Resources park their trucks in the driveway,” she noticed and then “All I could think is you hate your neighbor who lived here for twenty years” (Resciniti 2022). Even among the members of the community that were close to each other, not even the bond of being born in the same town was enough anymore. Families that have known each other for generations began to turn on each other. Those who were positively affected by the gas boom believed that those who did not were just ruining it for everyone and turned a blind eye to their neighbors' worsening conditions. People who were facing the negative side of fracking became isolated from their community and discouraged from speaking out (Griswold 2018). The community members' readiness to accept these extraction industries could be them hoping for the old days when other industries such as coal brought economic sustenance to the area. However, the relationships with these new industries were not going to be like the ones they had with the old. During the time when coal was king, most of the community was employed in the mines and were able to unionize. In the case of fracking, there is no connection through a union as the majority of fracking workers are not local (Hudgins 2013). The trust and idealized relationship that the locals were led to believe to be held with these companies was just another way for these companies to manipulate local populations.

Unfortunately for these struggling communities, as quickly as they came, the natural resource extraction workers left. Western Pennsylvania is still in a state of economic depression despite the fracking industries' insistence that they are bringing in economic growth for local communities. Particularly for the towns of Amity and Prosperity, the promises that were laid out by Range Resource seemed to leave with the company as the two towns were back to where they were before. What isn’t the same is the quality of air, water, and life disrupted by fracking. Community ties became fractured and unrepairable in many cases.


Griswold, Eliza. 2018. Amity and Prosperity, One Family and the Fracturing of America. New York, NY: Picador.

Grobe, Zachary. "Won’t You be My Neighbor?–Corporate Discourse, Formations of Community, and Fracking Above the Marcellus Shale." Latin American Literary Review 48, no. 96 (2021).

Hudgins, Anastasia. 2013. “Fracking’s Future in a Coal Mining Past: Undermined.” Journal of Culture and Agriculture 35, no. 1 (June): 54-59.

Resciniti, Tim and Jo. 2022. Interview by Katy Trent, Lauren Bowlin, Riley Phares, Brodie Healy, Mononita Khan, and Wesley Nelson. Zoom. April 20, 2022.

Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance, 2020.

Greenwashing and Corporate Public Relations

Many communities that have experienced the effects of extractive industries have also faced the corporate public relations practice of greenwashing. This practice ignores detrimental health and environmental risk by communicating safe practices, and offerings of reassurance through company based “science.” For communities such as Amity and Prosperity that have faced a history of extractive industry, the promises last until the companies leave but seem to never truly be fulfilled. The framing of safe practices for the environment and community health are very prevalent on many pro-fracking or corporate websites, however they are only supported by company based scientists, and go in circles.
Many company based studies also focus on a singular facet of drilling rather than the entire process, making for an incomplete understanding of contamination (Matz & Renfrew, 2014). By focusing on integrating themselves into the community, ensuring safety and economic growth, these companies are able to persist in these small communities by greenwashing the information regarding fracking processes, substances used, and overall potential negative effects from the drilling.
Employing these strategies has also led to questioning opposition as a point to call for national, state or community pride often based on the notion of self-sufficiency. Though this tactic isn’t directly greenwashing, and is more so slanderous to opposing groups, it is directly inspired through the events of greenwashing through the corporate/public relationship. From here they are also able to infiltrate communities to better paint themselves as a part of the community rather than an outside entity, which in turn is implied about activists and others that are demanding answers regarding the lack of information transparency and company promises of improvement.
Upon arriving in these small towns like Amity and Prosperity, these extracting companies worth millions or billions of dollars began buying and building schools and baseball fields and naming them after their company. The “boom” that these companies promise in the local economy does not always pan out the way the citizens imagine it to. With the amount of company propaganda around in these towns, it is very easy for people to become numb to the fact of what these extracting companies are doing. When youth baseball teams are sponsored by EQT, it is hard for these communities to refuse such large amounts of charity and donations.
Communities put so much trust into these extracting companies that they become unaware of the contaminating effects to their water systems. From the beginning of the process, the companies integrate themselves more and more into these communities to gain trust. Citizens are reluctant to question if what the companies are doing is good or bad because they are already "one" with the community. Once companies are embedded is when communities are most vulnerable. Some companies now become able to legally trespass on property with the right documents (Belack, 2014). They also freely greenwash certain aspects of the fracking process and data analytics.
The “bust” of these communities comes pretty much immediately after the companies are done. While talking to an employee at the Novelty Shoppe in Amity, PA. I asked him how fast it was when Range Resources decided to pack up and move to a different location. He said one day you’d see about thirty 18-wheeler trucks driving up and down the road then one day they just vanished. He continued on about how his daily customers, who were employees of Range Resources, just stopped coming in for lunch. He also noted that everything became a lot cleaner as well. The roads didn't have as much dirt, dust, and trash on them anymore. Before the “bust,” everyday around 3:30 p.m. the main strip of Amity would be extremely busy. Now he said they’d be surprised if they saw ten cars driving by in an hour. From these encounters, we can see the boom and bust cycle depends on how well the company is doing financially, regardless of community well-being.

Using Comics, Art, and Language as Cultural Devices

Mike Keefe, 2011.

Above: Political cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Gazette, 2015.

Right: Painting titled, Fracking, by David W, Coffin. 2012.

Understanding the rhetoric used by residents in these regions is crucial to understanding the cultural ethos and perception of themes such as contamination, economic security, and trust in greater public institutions. In our interviews with activists, words such as "poison", "malicious", and "neglect" stick out as key indicators of the growing resentment towards Oil and Gas companies, as well as their environmental impact viewed both insidiously and purposefully.

A Drive Through Prosperity: A Storybook of Poverty, Isolation, - and Hope.

The morning of March 26, 2022, was cold and overcast. The afternoon seemed to be promising to be the same and the urge to stay inside in the warmth was becoming stronger. But that was not going to be an option today. Today our group was going to make the trip to Amity and Prosperity in Western Pa. Our main goal was to talk to people about their experiences with fracking. Our research was inspired by Eliza Griswold’s Amity and Prosperity and we also wanted to see where the events of the books took place. We left town around 3:00 P.M. and separated ourselves into two cars. The drive was about 45 minutes and it began to snow on the way down. We arrived in Amity and parked next to the post office. It was 4:28 P.M. on a Saturday. The town was set on a hill. The entirety of the town was along a single street probably not even a mile long. We walked around the strip, it was snowing on us and there was no wind. We were the only ones out and walking; it made the experience a bit eerie. It felt like we were walking through a ghost town. The lights were off in many of the buildings, some seemed closed down, and there was no sign of life for the first thirty minutes there. There were many historic and old buildings, including the historical association that was built out of a log cabin from the 1800s. There were also some really nice houses in town. New houses that looked like they were built in the last ten years. From looking at the scale of the town it’s clear that this is the type of place where everyone knows everyone. You couldn’t walk down the street or drive down the road without seeing someone you knew. As we walked back to the car, a single truck passed by and the driver waved at us. They seemed friendly. The only other person we saw in Amity was a man directing another truck in the parking lot of the post office. He did not seem like he wanted to chat.

We began to make our way to Prosperity, which according to our GPS was about ten minutes away. On our way there, we saw a possible well pad in the corner of our eye. We immediately looked for a place where we could turn around and check it out. The Kearney Well Pad is located about 2 minutes outside of Amity and ten outside of Prosperity. It lies within the Amwell Township of Washington county. It was also about a mile away from a boy scout camp. The pad was built by Range Resources and there was a "no trespassing" sign on its open gate. It appeared to be either water treatment or waste treatment as part of the fracking setup. There was also a sign on the entrance that read: “In case of emergency meeting point”.

After the detour to the pad, we headed to Prosperity. In terms of size and setup, the town wasn’t too different than Amity. It was a bit bigger by a few houses and there were some newer structures. There were more people out and more cars on the road. We stopped at Jim Stop, Shop Mall where they were advertising live bait and cotton candy among other things. The boys were sent in first and after a few minutes, the rest of the team went in. Brodie was already having a conversation with the man at the counter and he told us that he lived in Prosperity his whole life. He read the Griswold book and knew all the people in the book. We paid for snacks and regrouped by the cars. From there we drove down to Rinky Dinks Road House. A local joint by the side of the road was built in the style of an old western saloon. It had a large sign of a cowboy and a lasso with the name of the restaurant on it. It was snowing harder than before as we walked in the dimly lit bar. It had an overwhelming smell of tobacco as soon as we walked in. There was a sizable group of men at the bar. There was a makeshift red room next to the restrooms. We seated ourselves in the dining area adjoining the bar. It had better lighting than the bar and there were only two other groups there when we began our dinner. The dining room was a large space that had several tables, a couple of pool tables, and a stage for live music. There was going to be a performance from Cross Creek Band later that night so the band was already set up. The waitress came and took our order. She brought us water in the form of plastic water bottles (we were expecting tap water). There seemed to be two waitresses in the whole restaurant. It took about two hours for our food to get there. In the meantime, we talked over what we saw, Lauren continued to take pictures, and Wes, Mononita, and Brodie decided to check out the bar to see if anyone wished to talk. They did not. People were staring at us the whole time we were there and the atmosphere had a tense undertone. It was very clear we were outsiders. After our food we paid and made our way out. It was another 45 minutes until we got home and it was snowing heavily as we left.

All photos above taken by Lauren Bowlin, 2022.

Have you been affected by Fracking? Here are a few helpful resources.

Our Story • The Reasons Why Us - Pediatric Cancer and Connections to The Environment Research and Awareness Foundation

FracTracker | Insights Empowering Action - Research connections and Fracking database to help support personal projects and help organize against Fracking

Home - Center for Coalfield Justice - Organization for advocacy, education, and environmental activism in Southwestern PA

Concerned Residents of West Deer, PA (CROWD) - Collective of West Deer Township residents committed to the health and safety of our neighborhoods, roads, businesses, schools, parks, and open spaces