The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
11K+ Call on Chevron to Apologize for Responding to Gas Well Explosion With Pizza Coupons
When one of its gas wells exploded in Dunkard Township, Greene County, PA, killing one worker, injuring another and sparking a fire that burned for days, Chevron responded by issuing pizza coupons to area residents. Today, thousands outraged by the insulting gesture let Chevron’s CEO and staff know that pizza does not mean never having to say you’re sorry.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Impacted residents, concerned citizens and grassroots organizations delivered petition signatures to Chevron’s Smithfield, PA, office in a pizza box with a two-liter coke. Hundreds of others called and emailed Chevron’s CEO James Watson to place pizza orders. Many pizza orders were posted to Chevron’s social media pages.
Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth, started organizing a call-in day on social media that quickly grew to include a petition drive and a delivery of the signatures gathered to Chevron’s office. Chevron’s ‘let them eat pizza’ attitude toward the people most directly and profoundly impacted by the explosion speaks volumes about how people in the communities are regarded by the industry as a whole.
“I’ve never seen a response like this," said Feridun. "People jumped at the chance to show Chevron their disgust at its wholly inadequate and inappropriate response.”
"Small gestures like pizza and pop do not change the destruction Chevron has left behind in Bobtown," said Veronica Coptis, local resident and Center for Coalfield Justice community organizer. “If they want to help this community, how about taking meaningful steps like eliminating dangerous pollution or destructive truck traffic?"
The idea to deliver the petition signatures to Chevron’s Smithfield, PA, office came from Jesse Bacon, a field organizer Environmental Action Pennsylvania. “If Chevron is really so insensitive as to think pizza can make everything better—even the death of one of their own employees and a threat to an entire town—we needed a special delivery to get their attention."
Kathryn Hilton, community organizer for the Mountain Watershed Association, organized the petition delivery with partners the Center for Coalfield Justice, the Harry Enstrom Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, Fayette Marcellus Watch, Marcellus Protest and the Marcellus Citizens’ Group of Westmoreland County.
“We are very concerned about exploitation of communities by Chevron and other drilling companies. Chevron has publicly stated the company is committed to doing it [unconventional operations] right, but the pizza coupon comes across as very insincere and dismissive of the serious impacts those living near shale gas wells face daily," Hilton stated. "Residents impacted by the explosion in Greene County, and indeed those impacted by shale gas development across the region, deserve to be properly compensated. Chevron’s response to this tragedy was completely and wholly inappropriate. Shame, shame.”
Ken Duffala, a representative with the Izaak Walton League of America in Greene County, made the following statement regarding Chevron’s actions:
With the recent tragedy in Bobtown and Chevron’s pizza and soft drink offer to the public, a lot of residents feel the offer was hollow. The issue missed is that clean air and clean water need to be a top concern. I would highly recommend that the family of the worker who was killed be the highest concern, and that well safety be strictly enforced so no others lose their lives.
"For years we've witnessed the blatant disregard for public wellbeing that oil and gas corporations have shown to Pennsylvania communities, through their inherently dangerous and polluting fracking operations," said Emily Wurth, water program director at Food & Water Watch. "But the callous tone-deafness of Chevron's pizza campaign in Dunkard Township took even us by surprise. Chevron's absurd response to community hardship speaks volumes."
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.
gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images
Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.
The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
'We Should Be Retreating Already From the Coastline,' Scientist Suggests After Finding Warm Waters Below Greenland
By Johnny Wood
The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.
The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.
Here are some of the challenges the river faces.
By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.