by Axel Hellman
USC–Every year, more and more students have moved to the neighborhood west of Vermont, driving up rents and gradually displacing longtime neighborhood residents and businesses.
At the corner of Jefferson and Budlong, just a quarter mile from campus, the family-owned Freeport McMoran oil well, may be pushed out by this economic injustice.
The University Village project has already taken away affordable grocery and dining options for local residents. Many fear an invasion of hipster cafés, phonograph record shops, and cat grooming salons.
The well, whose pipes are injecting a mixture of volatile chemicals into the ground as far east as Hoover and as far north as Adams in a process known as “acidization,” blamed societal racism, citing the fact that oil is black.
“This well has been slowly poisoning local residents for generations. It’s a tradition by now.” said activist Ron Palmer, “Where will our families go to be ‘gently dusted’ with petroleum byproducts now?”
The closure of the well would affect children the most. Vanessa Stout told reporters that she now has to bring her 5-year-old son over a mile to the oil well on 23rd Street to give him his daily chemical-induced nosebleeds and headaches.
Still, the university remains inactive on the matter. “Our donors would object. We have a department of petroleum engineering, several oil tycoons are on the board of trustees, and we have an entire petrochemicals building,” said one source within the administration, “When will sick people donate a building? Then we’ll talk.”