Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flourishing in Steubenville, Ohio: if you want to cultivate peace, protect creation: Estrada Speech Against Fracking

UPDATE: Keith Michael Estrada gives 3rd presentation to City Council
Market Street Bridge over the Ohio River connecting Steubenville to West Virginia

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 Address given to the City Council of Steubenville, OH, by Keith Michael Estrada

 Honorable Members of the City Council of Steubenville, I thank you for your time as I discuss with you: ‘Consistency, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Peace.
I would first like to thank you for holding fast to the city’s ordinance prohibiting drilling within city boundaries and for striving to provide “…useful employment, pure air and water, … health, safety, … and all other conditions conducive to human growth,” as is professed in this city’s 2010-2020 Action plan. What you aim to provide, I will henceforth call ‘ideals.’

However, I would like to note that, while the city has taken a great step in striving to provide these aforementioned ideals, we are, as a city, acting in a manner which, when examined with integrity, is merely a falsification of the values necessary in order to obtain them. Let me explain further.

This council has decided to lease a city-owned landfill to Chesapeake Corporation for the purpose of drilling and collecting natural resources through a method commonly known as Hydraulic Fracturing.
Moreover, this council has agreed to “sell up to 700,000 gallons of water, [treated and/or untreated] a day” to this same Chesapeake corporation for projects in a different neighboring city.

My concern, as a resident of Steubenville, Ohio, is that while the city currently wants to provide the ideals of “useful employment, pure air and water, … health, safety, … and all other conditions conducive to human growth,” the leasing of city-owned land for drilling and the selling of water for hydraulic fracturing, is a direct contradiction of the city’s original aim – yes this is to say the city is inconsistent in its actions.

It is obvious that this city is lacking peace – peace being something which starts within the hearts of man and woman, alike. However, “if you want to cultivate peace, protect creation.” This city’s formal cooperation with hydraulic fracturing is formal cooperation with an evil that is antithetical to peace, as it is directly opposed to creation at large.

While the city aims to protect itself further from the dangers of contamination and pollution, individualism and greed, it ignorantly does so by participating in these same exact things: contamination and pollution, individualism and greed.

Across the nation, and across the globe people of every class and color are starting to realize that hydraulic fracturing is nothing more than a business of short-term profit, led by greed and individualism, exploiting the poor and their dire need for flourishing, ultimately destroying the environment, locally and regionally for this generation and many generations to come– and when the hydraulic fracturing is over, air has been tainted with chemicals that harm the nervous and immune systems, water has been poisoned by carcinogens,  and plants, animals and humans are left with pillaged lands and broken hearts after being unconsciously prostituted by the oil and gas industries due to the local and neighboring authorities’ ignorance on the matter.

I ask you then, to consider henceforth the repercussions of our participation as a city in the destruction of people’s properties and well-being. We tout the protection and flourishing of our city, all the while we are sharing in the intent of the companies’ who, for mere short-term gain, are destroying the lives of our neighbors and their lands. Air and water pollution is taking place under our watch, with our resources, how will you choose to explain to our neighbors in Wintersville and Richmond, that “pure air and water … health, [and] safety,” all these “conditions conducive to human growth” are vital for the people of Steubenville, yet our desire for short term gain justifies our participation in denying them equal access to these God-given gifts?

End all business and negotiations with oil and gas companies that are filled with deceit and destruction.

Advocate consistently for all-inclusive flourishing.

Do your part and set the standard high for all of Ohio: do not give in to the temptation that individualism offers, for it has already scarred our past. Publicly reject the destruction of our world and fight to help the rest of Ohio obtain and keep “pure air and water … health, [and] safety,” and all “conditions conducive to human growth.”  Thank you.

City Hall, Steubenville, Ohio after City Council meeting

City Hall, Steubenville, Ohio after City Council meeting


  1. For our county and municipal governments to allow and encourage fracking without considering its environmental and safety issues is irresponsible and short-sighted. Remember those who supported fracking at the polls.

  2. That is not the Veterans Memorial Bridge. It is the Market Street Bridge.