Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Chevron Tries to Apologise for Pennsylvania Fracking Explosion with Free Pizza

00 pizza and beer. 09.12

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Last Tuesday, residents of the small town of Bobtown PA woke to an explosion and a massive high-temperature fire, at the site of a fracking well owned by Chevron Corporation. Last Tuesday, a Chevron well in the preparation stages for hydraulic fracturing exploded 50 miles south of Pittsburgh PA causing a fire that lasted for four days and left one Chevron contractor unaccounted for and another one injured. It took five days for emergency crews to extinguish the fire; the explosion shook the small town of Bobtown, located in the far southwestern corner of the state. The blast gave off a loud hissing noise that one could hear hundreds of yards away.

One resident told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the explosion in a shale formation where Chevron spent time fracking “sounded like a jet engine going five feet above your house”. John Kuis, 57, of nearby Dilliner PA, said that his dog started growling unusually at 06.45 on 11 February, “then, the house just sort of shock and there was a big loud bang”. The Philadelphia Daily News since discovered that residents of Bobtown… a census-designated place of fewer than 1,000 people that revolves mostly around coal mining… started to receive coupons for one free pizza and a two-litre soda from a local Bobtown pizzeria.

On its website, the company said, “Chevron recognises 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’re committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbours, our employees, our contractors, and the environment”. Daily News reporters were able to confirm with Bobtown Pizza that it was, in fact, Chevron that bought about 100 of the 12 USD (430 Roubles. 13.25 CAD. 13.35 AUD. 8.75 Euros. 7.20 UK Pounds) coupons, which expire on 1 May 2014.The coupon is for one free large pizza and a two-litre drink at Bobtown Pizza, a shop a few miles away from the drill site.

Activists say that the pizza coupon is just the most outlandish of the many ways Chevron and other oil and gas companies have tried to soften their image, as fracking stirs controversy over environmental and health impacts. Gloria Forouzan, a leader with Pittsburgh-based anti-fracking group Marcellus Protest, said, “How arrogant and stupid do they think people are? What (fracking companies) are doing in terms of PR is insidious. They advertise, and they advertise heavily, and for that, (people) are basically willing to lie down and let the companies walk all over them”.

19 February 2014

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_19/Chevron-apologizes-for-Pennsylvania-fracking-explosion-with-free-pizza-0282/

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