Body of shale gas worker killed by Chevron fire found; residents angered by PR pizza
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:
(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!“:
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.