So a Pennsylvania fracking well explodes, killing one man and traumatizing the community with, well, the sound of an exploding fracking well and the ensuing flames. And how did Chevron decide to make amends with the community? Via Will Bunch:
It was a horrific event on every level. One worker at the rig was not found and is presumed dead. The fire -- who posed enormous risks to rescue workers and to the surrounding community -- burned intensely for five days before it was finally extinguished. Despite reassurances, neighbors surely worried whether toxins were released in the fiery aftermath.
Of course, living near a fracking rig in Pennsylvania -- the state that Gov. Corbett has promised will become "the Texas of natural gas" -- isn't a picnic under the best of circumstances; scores of neighbors have complained about polluted drinking water or foul odors or ailing pets and livestock, of headaches and nausea and skin rashes.
But the people of Bobtown who endured the Chevron blast got a sweet -- or rather savory -- consolation prize for all that agita.
Pizza, pizza!. OK. Actually just...pizza.
Local residents were delivered a note (pictured above), dated Sunday, from the Chevron Community Outreach Team. It states in part:
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…
Tucked inside the envelope was a gift certificate to Bobtown Pizza, courtesy of Chevron. It entitles the resident to a free large pizza, and before you say something like, “Boy, is that chintzy,” you should know that was just the beginning, that the coupon also entitles the holder to a 2-liter soda.
Is there a catch? Well, sort of – the certificate is good for a "special combo only." Remember, Chevron's yearly profits declined in 2013 and the firm made just barely over $21 billion. You weren't really expected pepperoni, too, were you? (Note: the pizza certificates were first reported by No Fracking Way and Raging Chicken Press -- I called (!!) the pizza shop and confirmed that about 100 of the certificates were distributed by Chevron.)
Of course, a cynic would argue that a lifetime supply of pizza -- even with those cheesy breadsticks thrown in -- wouldn't be worth the health risks of having a massive fracking rig next door. On the other hand, I see a possible new marketing campaign for Chevron: We guarantee your fracking rig won't explode, or your pizza is free!