Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

11K+ Call on Chevron to Apologize for Responding to Gas Well Explosion With Pizza Coupons

Energy

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.

In an apparent effort to smooth ties with the town, last week Chevron delivered coupons for one large pizza and a two-liter drink to residents affected by the blast.
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?"

Environmental Action and MoveOn.org aided in gathering signatures on the petition. Food & Water Watch also gathered signatures from its membership.

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

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less
A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

Read More Show Less