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Chevron Gives Residents Near Fracking Explosion Free Pizza 207

Posted by samzenpus
from the are-you-mad-now? dept.
Lasrick writes "Chevron hopes that free soda and pizza can extinguish community anger over a fracking well fire in Dunkard Township, Pennsylvania. From the story: 'The flames that billowed out of the Marcellus Shale natural gas well were so hot they caused a nearby propane truck to explode, and first responders were forced to retreat to avoid injury. The fire burned for four days, and Chevron currently has tanks of water standing by in case it reignites. Of the twenty contractors on the well site, one is still missing, and is presumed dead.' The company gave those who live nearby a certificate for a free pizza and some soda."
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Chevron Gives Residents Near Fracking Explosion Free Pizza

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  • by Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:15PM (#46291349)
    . . . that is just part of life, especially something as dangerous as extracting oil or natural gas. When that happens, it only seems reasonable to do something to generate good publicity. However, it is better to do nothing at all (except apologize) than to attempt some insulting gesture. It makes it seem like the residents' exposure to potentially toxic smoke is worth nothing more than a coupon for free pizza. It is insulting. Maybe they should actually pay to send out some doctors or some other meaningful assistance for the residents.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:22PM (#46291395)

    But... if I boycotted every corporation that did something so outrageous as this, I would have no car, no gas to put in it, no clothes to wear, no shoes, nothing to eat or drink nothing to see, hear, or read. we as a people are deeply indebted to evil, and/or depraved assholes. so thank you, you despicable worms... thanks for making our modern world possible.

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:24PM (#46291411) Homepage

    Insulting when it's on the cheap, at least. From a PR perspective, paying off the community in the form of gifts can actually work. Human nature and all that. The correct way of pulling this off is to not be so cheap as to backfire. Perhaps a new XBox or some such for each resident family that would be effected nearby. Take the total cost of the political fallout and divide by family count to get the value that the gift should be.

    Now between you and me, we might feel that a bit condescending. But money talks and we are the minority voice here. It works for politics, no difference here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:26PM (#46291425)

    But... if I boycotted every heartless, soulless corporation who behaved in such an appallingly outrageous, reprehensible fashion, I would have no one to buy gasoline from, and no car to put it in. Also, I would have no job, no place to live, no bed to sleep on, and no conflict-mineral filled computer to read slashdot with.

  • Class action (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Macdude (23507) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:30PM (#46291451)

    A Pizza is more than most people get as the result of a class action lawsuit...

  • by volkerdi (9854) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:37PM (#46291497)

    They may not even need any fine print. Accepting compensation can affect your right to seek damages later.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:42PM (#46291529) Homepage Journal

    Sorry 'bout poisoning your drinking water. Here, have a pizza and STFU.

  • by siphonophore (158996) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:43PM (#46291533)

    Chevron has a sizable industrial accident in a community. They take losses in it (insurance likely covers direct losses) and lose a contractor. I'm sure that wherever damages did occur, Chevron is on the hook and is likely paying up. The nearby residents had zero damages and weren't owed a thing. Chevron is not getting off cheap or abdicating responsibility through a pizza giveaway.

    The situation is comparable to having a tall tree in your yard that falls over on your car. You don't owe your neighbor a pizza, but maybe you buy him dinner anyway just for giving him the jitters.

  • Re:What the (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tailhook (98486) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:06PM (#46291687)

    Because wellhead fires, explosions and dead workers are entirely unique to fracking. Nothing like that has ever happened in the oil/gas recovery business ever.

  • Re:What the (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:07PM (#46291691)

    I don't think it is. I think it's mainly just NIMBY syndrome; same with nuclear power.

    Greenpeace likes to cite Fukushima as evidence for why there should be no more nuclear power, but the actual results of Fukushima don't bear that out.

    Fukushima taught us that living in an earthquake zone at the time of an earthquake/tsunami hurts a lot more people (16,000 confirmed dead, 2,500 missing) than a meltdown at a modern nuclear power plant (zero dead, liberal estimates of 1,000 potential cancer cases in the future - may never see a single one though.)

    Are there risks with fracking? Other than the safety risks common in every other industrial work environment, not really. Some people suspect earthquakes, but so far there isn't anything other than confirmation bias to suggest it actually happens.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:55PM (#46291973)

    Right, so you're saying that having a fracking well explode is so common as to be unremarkable. Message received.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:24PM (#46292121) Journal
    Someone thought no one would take seriously an arrest warrant for failing to return a video to a defunct video store.
  • Re:Fuck the media (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:28PM (#46292139) Journal

    So if I cut your brake lines, but you don't drive the car for a week, and end up smacking up the car, I'm not to blame.

  • by TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:32PM (#46292161)
    "Perhaps a new XBox or some such for each resident family"

    What basement-dwelling numbnuts up-modded this?
  • Re:What the (Score:3, Insightful)

    by no-body (127863) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:09PM (#46292329)

    Are there risks with fracking? Other than the safety risks common in every other industrial work environment, not really. Some people suspect earthquakes, but so far there isn't anything other than confirmation bias to suggest it actually happens.

    So, what happens to all that dirty water pumped pumped in deep injections "wells"? Maybe it's "spare" water when surface water becomes even more scarce then in some areas of US already?

    I think all this activity is playing poker with the future where one side in the present holds the better card.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:35PM (#46292409)

    Chevron has a sizable industrial accident in a community.

    At least we agree on this. :)

    They take losses in it (insurance likely covers direct losses) and lose a contractor.

    If Chevron was a privately owned little mom-and-pop operation and the "contractor" was their son-in-law I'd have some sympathy. But, in this case, it's hard to imagine that anyone with any real decision making power (that is, responsibility) suffered at all. Somehow I doubt the CEO of Chevron will put a picture of the deceased contractor's family on his desk as a permanent reminder to never let something like this happen again: for a company that size, a few human lives here and there are merely the cost of doing business.

    I'm sure that wherever damages did occur, Chevron is on the hook and is likely paying up.

    With a fire that burned for four days and the loss of life I'm pretty sure that the local government provided some services somewhere along the line.

    The nearby residents had zero damages and weren't owed a thing.

    I have a young nephew who, when he gets mad, runs around swinging his arms randomly hoping to "accidentally" hit someone. I suppose technically there's nothing wrong with his behavior because he's not guaranteed to succeed in hitting anyone and, even if he does, it's not "intentional". But real life isn't quite so simple and black and white: there's also this notion of negligent activity that puts others at risk.

    Chevron is not getting off cheap or abdicating responsibility through a pizza giveaway.

    Last year the CEO of Chevron got about $30 million in compensation [mercurynews.com]. In a standard 2,000 hour work year (50 weeks at 40 hours/week), that works out to $15,000/hour or $250/minute (there was time when I thought lawyers who charged $250/hour had it good). Now, Chevron apparently gave away about 100 pizzas [philly.com] at a cost of $12 or so per pizza - for a total cost of about $1,200. So this pizza give-away is equivalent to just a bit less that 5 minutes of the CEO's time.

    The situation is comparable to having a tall tree in your yard that falls over on your car. You don't owe your neighbor a pizza, but maybe you buy him dinner anyway just for giving him the jitters.

    A better analogy would be that cut down a tree on your property without taking adequate safety precautions and it all goes horribly wrong and falls on a fedex delivery person who was trying to deliver a package to your house and your neigbor tries to give the delivery person CPR but the delivery person dies in your neighbor's arms - not too mention the tree almost fell on your neighbor's house which might have killed your neighbor's family. So you give your neighbor just one single penny to compensate for the distress and risk you caused - and walk away self-righteously feeling that you've given your neighbor far more compensation than your neighbor actually deserved.

  • Re:What the (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:42PM (#46292441)

    So, what happens to all that dirty water pumped pumped in deep injections "wells"?

    Over thousands of years it slowly seeps through the rocks and just kind of hands around down there. These wells are far, far deeper than the deepest wells drilled for pumping water up from underground aquifers and the water table. By the time the 'dirty' water ever makes it anywhere important the rocks will have filtered all the crap out of it.

    The actual point of concern from fracking is not about the fluids, the water, or any of the bullshit you see people ranting about. The problem is that they are re-using old wells which were drilled a long time ago, and those wells go through the water table and natural aquifers in many cases. Those old wells tend to have shoddy and/or degraded casings (the walls of the wells are lined usually with some type of concrete or metal tubing to prevent them from collapsing), so when they are pumping the shit down the well they can tend to leak somewhat.

    Maybe it's "spare" water when surface water becomes even more scarce then in some areas of US already?

    Surface water is becoming "scarce" because of the massive demands which come from agriculture, large industry, and most of all large population centers.. especially when you put a city somewhere that doesn't normally have water (like the Nevada Desert) and have to pipe a shitload in from elsewhere.
    But the water isn't getting more scarce, it's just ending up in the oceans faster than the weather is recycling it up into the high elevations in the form of rain and snow.

    The solution to water shortages isn't to cry about frakking, it's to start advancing our de-salinization technology. Or start catching some icy comets and dropping them into the atmosphere. We pump far more water out of underground aquifers which do not naturally replenish quickly than we will ever put back into frakking wells, and if the global warming alarmists are right we could stand to put a dent in the ocean levels.

  • Re:What the (Score:5, Insightful)

    by firewrought (36952) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:47PM (#46292451)

    Are there risks with fracking?

    Groundwater contamination [vanityfair.com], for one. Especially, flammable tap water [youtube.com]. Perhaps you dismiss that as anecdotal, but it's not as if scientist have been given the access, data, and funding to run these claims to ground... that will take another ten or twenty years, by which point the perpetrators will have long since taken off with the profits while the general public gets stuck with whatever environmental catastrophes this created.

    Don't get me wrong... I wish fracking was as safe and plentiful as proponents claim. And maybe it's worth some amount of contamination even if it isn't safe. I just wish these things could be determined objectively and scientifically in the best public interest instead of this same old sh*t where the powerful simultaneously exert influence over corporations, media, government, and public opinion to effect the fattest profit instead of the utilitarian good.

  • by Tetch (534754) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:50PM (#46292467) Journal

    Yup, don't like fracking - it carries too high a risk of polluting my landscape, and quite likely turning a beautiful view into a rubbish-tip. In the UK, the government has even gone on record [telegraph.co.uk] to say the extracted oil & gas won't reduce anybody's energy bills [theguardian.com]. It will, however, make a shit-load of money for some people who already have too much [youtube.com], and who seem willing to rig [youtube.com] the deck [manchester...news.co.uk] to make sure they get their way.

    Don't like nuclear fission power either - it produces *filthy* dirty waste, that we have no idea what to do with. AFAIK, not a single nuclear power station has yet been decommissioned and cleaned up anywhere in the world - quite a few are mothballed, while an alleged "decommissioning" process achieves almost nothing and stretches endlessly into the future at vast expense to the tax-payer (cos poor little private sector can't take the pain, so public sector has to take that task on, or private sector will take its ball home).

    Both these technologies are amateurish, half-assed, ill-thought-out, poor examples of our abilities at this climactic moment of the 21st century, and I'm embarrassed to be a member of the same species that wants to do this crap. Come on ... we're capable of better than that.

    For some reason, many of my peers in this /. community seem to take umbrage whenever there is any criticism of any industrial process if there is some kind of "technology" aspect to that process. There appears to be a belief that so long as a process makes money and is technological, it must be undertaken, irrespective of the impact on this one uniquely precious planet that we have here. I will continue to try to understand this point of view, but I fear its exponents are blinded by the flashing lights.

    Sigh.

  • Re:What the (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pspahn (1175617) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:44AM (#46292805)

    The Colorado floods were a natural disaster, but there were only a few deaths. The environmental consequences are much higher, part of which are all the fracking fluids that got spilled.

    Talk about a lack of perspective.

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Thursday February 20, 2014 @02:51AM (#46292953) Homepage Journal

        That's a pretty good deal. Cause a huge explosion, (probably) kill someone, and blow up a truck, and pay the town off with a pizza and 2 liter.

        If *I* caused a huge explosion.. no, lets just say a small explosion, like just the propane truck. Say one person caught a tiny piece of shrapnel that was picked out with tweezers and fixed with a band-aid, I'd be in jail for an awful long time.

        That doesn't quite seem fair.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @06:14AM (#46293331)

    The problem is that it's not theses companies doing the polluting. It's you. Look in the mirror. No not the bathroom mirror but the side mirror of your car as you stand at the bowser pouring another 55L into your tank and ask yourself where did the previous 55L go? Lie at home in the comfort of a 23degree room at 40% humidity, carefully controlled for your comfort, watching a TV made of precious minerals and manufactured using a dirty process while you're wife has a 4 gas burner stove running in the kitchen cutting up vegetables and exotic herbs imported from far away countries and brought over on a giant ship run on dirty fuel oil.

    Supply and demand. I demand *unlimited* energy, and I'll be dammed if I'm going to pay 4c/kWh more than my neighbour in the interest of being green. If I did that I'd never rise to be king rich bastard of the street.

    As a matter of interest remember how peak oil never happened? Can you draw any link to the lack of peak oil and the sudden interest in fracking, and scraping every last little bit of natural tar from sands within a natural reserve.

    I've seen the big polluter. It's not Chevron, or BP, or Shell. It's not TEPCO, or First Energy Corp.

    It's me.

  • Re: What the (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @06:51AM (#46293407)

    What I find most interesting is that since 2005 the EPA has specifically excluded the fracking industry from following regulation or reporting results. Until republicans remove this specific exclusion, all we have available is correlation as causation.

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