Chevron remedies fracking explosion with free pizza

A gas well in Appalachia exploded last Tuesday and burned until Saturday afternoon. It was loud enough that people in the next town over were woken by the sound of the explosion and the shaking ground. The initial blast severely damaged heavy equipment in the area and burned so intensely that a special well-fire team called in from Texas could do nothing about it. It was monitored, but left to burn itself out. Gas is still leaking.

One man was injured and another remains missing, though it’s pretty long odds that he’ll still be turning up.

The people of Bobtown, Pennsylvania could be pretty understandably miffed about the whole to-do. The water has probably tasted like shit since the fracking started. A massive gas fire has been polluting the air all week. Two casualties, blocked roads, emergency vehicles, national coverage. Still, tragedies like these can bring a community together. And what better way for well proprietor Chevron to show its humility and magnanimity than with that most enduring of olive branches, pizza.

Chevron’s damage control team cracked open the war chest and decided to repay the community with something they’d never forget: One large pizza and a two-liter soda per household. The gift certificates were dropped off unceremoniously with a concise PR letter:

Dear Neighbor,

We are sorry to have missed you.  We wanted to provide you with a status update on the February 11 incident that occurred on Chevron’s Appalachia’s Lanoce 7 H well pads in Dunkard Township and see if you had any questions or concerns that we could address.

Chevron recognizes the effect this has had on the community.  We value being a responsible member of this community and will continue to strive to achieve incident-free operations.  We are committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbors, our employees, our contractors and the environment…

The gift certificate goes unmentioned in the letter, like a shameful payoff they’d rather not acknowledge. The whole affair reminds me a lot of a scene in “A Tale of Two Cities,” when a nobledude is rushing his carriage through the streets and runs over a child. He tosses the parents a coin for their loss and rushes on. I’m not saying our Bobtown situation is anything as negligent or cold-blooded as that, but it’s still tacky as hell.

All things considered, I would never begrudge any of the fine people there for enjoying a good slice of pie. The certificates expire in less than two weeks—longer, really, than any free pizza offer should take to pounce on.

Check out the letter/gift certificate:


Sources NPRRaging Chicken Press