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Body of shale gas worker killed by Chevron fire found; residents angered by PR pizza

February 20, 2014
The body of the worker killed by the Chevron shale gas well explosion and fire in Greene County, Pennsylvania has been found. His name is Ian McKee. He was 27 years old.
More than 12 hours after a blast that “sounded like a jet engine going 5 feet above your house,” as one neighbor put it, a fire continued to rise into the air, causing a hissing sound that could be heard a quarter-mile away.

The February 11th Chevron disaster occurred in an area long accustomed to extractive industries. Some western PA residents were shocked when state environmental regulators (PA DEP) claimed to be “grateful” that no one lived within half a mile of the dangerous explosions, flames, heat and smoke — even while that same DEP continues to fight for fracking well pads to be set back as little as 300 feet from homes, schools, playgrounds, and vulnerable clean streams.

Still, many residents who lived close to the out-of-control Chevron fire in Greene County have been slow to anger.

Not any more. The response by Chevron, after the fire burned out of control for four days and continues to emit gas and heat in the area, earned it this headline from CNN:

Some Pa. residents near blown Chevron gas well finding pizza gift hard to swallow

The CNN report, by Allie Malloy and Lauren Morton, came out on Wednesday, February 19th:
(CNN) — Some Pennsylvania residents who live near a Chevron natural gas well that exploded, killing a worker, are getting compensation of sorts from the corporation.
Free pizza and sodas.

Chevron is dispensing 100 gift certificates for pizza and soft drinks to those in the area of Greene County where the February 11 explosion sparked a fire that burned for four days. An employee at Bobtown Pizza confirmed the corporation’s order of gift certificates.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown, according to Jeff Rhodes, Greene County 911 Emergency Coordinator.

The blast killed a worker and injured another, and although the fire is out gas and heat are still being emitted into the atmosphere, Rhodes said.

Chevron’s edible outreach is not sitting well with some recipients.

“Worst apology ever: Sorry our fracking well exploded. Here’s a free pizza,” one angry Twitter user wrote Tuesday.

“Nice community relations: if you are frightened by fire and explosion, relax, have a pizza!” another tweet stated.

“Huge Slap in the Face”

One resident who said he wished to remain anonymous because of Chevron’s strong presence in the area told CNN that he received a certificate on Sunday while he and his family were out. He said it was the first and last time they had heard from Chevron regarding the incident.
“It felt like a huge slap in the face,” the resident told CNN.
“I do not feel that they’ve addressed anything. I haven’t even called their hotline yet because I’m just too upset. A pizza coupon? I mean come on!”

Residents to Move Out: Ongoing Dislocation in Shalefield Communities

The resident who spoke to CNN said he plans to move his family as a result of the incident.
“We’re moving as soon as we can. That’s not their only well near our house. It’s just not safe,” he said.
In an update published Tuesday on its website, Chevron said the situation at the well “remains serious and teams are working around the clock to safely approach and shut the well.”

Shale Gas Fires Kill Workers in Pennsylvania; Governor Praises Industry’s Safety Record

Eve Andrews of Grist reports, in “Just a Fracking Well Exploding Into Flames — Nothing to See Here!“:

Another gas well fire on the shale in Indiana Township, Pa., killed two people in July 2010. Yet another, also in the same region, caused three more deaths in February 2011.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has been a consistent advocate for fracking in the state. He’s refused to levy significant taxes on gas companies and is pushing for the reversal of both a state Supreme Court ruling and former Gov. Ed Rendell’s (D) executive order that protect many regions of the state, including parks, from drilling. In spite of the supersized natural gas bonfire in his backyard, Corbett continues to laud the safety of the fracking industry.

As this blog post goes to press, Chevron’s stock is going up:
  1. Chevron Corporation

    NYSE: CVX – Feb 20 11:15 AM ET

    114.50+0.90 (0.79%)

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4 Comments
  1. T.Clements permalink
    February 20, 2014 1:10 pm

    Every one of us needs to be in Harrisburg,Tuesday, February 25th, high noon for the rally against fracking on state lands and forests. Let’s make this a huge showing of strength and solidarity. I have 2 spots for riders in my car.

  2. February 20, 2014 9:53 pm

    I think the really pathetic thing was that you had to buy a “combo” to get the certificate. RIP Ian Mckee. {NOW would be a a great time for Ian Mackaye( Minor Threat, Fugazi) founder of Dischord Records, to really stand-up.}

  3. February 20, 2014 10:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Frack_Free_Farming.

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