American Rust: Is Landwill Energy a Real Oil Company?

The second season of ‘American Rust,’ accompanied by the tag, ‘Broken Justice,’ the crime drama show expands the narrative to include stories from small-town Buell’s neighboring big city, Pittsburgh. Thus, as former Police Chief Del Harris returns to the Pittsburgh Police Department as a detective, Grace, and the others helm the narrative focus of the events unfolding in Buell. Consequently, Landwill Energy, an oil company that remains interconnected with the lives of numerous Buell residents due to its booming employment opportunities, becomes a crucial element within the story.

Landwill Energy’s presence in Buell, as they seek drilling and fracking opportunities, stands out in the show’s socially relevant depiction of the Rust Belt regions. For the same reason, viewers might wonder whether or not the company has any basis in real life.

Landwill Energy: A Fictional Oil Company With a Realistic Influence

American Rust: Broken Justice‘ charts a fictional narrative ripe with events and characters that hold little to no basis in real life. As such, the Oil company Landwill Energy, which remains an antagonistic center for this season’s finale, occupies a similarly fictionalized space within the show. In real life, no oil companies exist under an identical banner who have on record participated in similar business practices as the show’s Landwill Energy.

Yet, the storyline assigned to the oil corporation remains reminiscent of the reality behind the oil industry in the country’s Rust Belt region. Fracking and drilling have been common practices that the oil industry employs for oil extraction. Reportedly, the E.P.A. was informed— and even troubled— about the toxicity that such procedures leave in grounds in the aftermath. Nevertheless, 2011 saw the E.P.A.’s approval of these methods, paving the way for their mainstream existence.

As such, fracking has now become a crucial aspect of the industrial culture within certain States, with a noticeably heavy presence in the country’s Rust Belt region. In fact, a 2019 article from Yale Environment 360 cites Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania’s former Democratic governor, as asserting Shell Chemical Appalachia’s ethane cracker plant to be the “biggest private-sector investment in Pennsylvania since World War II.”

Wolf’s claims that western Pennsylvania could become the “fracking-driven energy hub” further highlight the relevance of such oil company projects in the region. Such industrial plants that engage in regular drilling and fracking provide significant employment within the areas that are often in vital need of the same. Still, despite its benefit to the local economy, it causes negative effects on the regions through pollution in all forms— air, water, land, and noise.

Thus, even though Landwill Energy isn’t based on a real company, a part of its storyline that revolves around its arrival and stay in Buell holds evident relevance to real life. Furthermore, given the negative sentiments surrounding such companies in real life, the show’s depiction of Landwill as a morally evil corporation involved in shady business practices holds pertinence to people’s common perception. Yet, it isn’t reflective of any particular oil company’s actions. Ultimately, Landwill Energy remains a fictitious element, used as a tool to strengthen the authentic depiction of the Pennsylvanian region while also progressing the story’s criminal plot along.

Read More: American Rust Broken Justice: Where is the Crime Show Filmed?