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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 viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:31PM (#46291843)

    It pays off even better if the small print on the voucher says acceptance of the voucher means they can't sue.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:45PM (#46292447)

    I think your comment is pretty insightful, but you are mistaken on one point.

    Fukushima taught us that [...] a meltdown at a modern nuclear power plant (zero dead

    Fukushima taught what happens when an ancient nuke plant melts down, not a modern one. Fukushima was due for decommissioning... it was a second-gen design that had been in operation for over four decades! That's the original planned total lifetime of the design. (Although with upgrades it is possible to keep operating [neimagazine.com] a gen-II past the four-decades mark.)

    I want to see a large buildout of gen-III+ or fourth-gen design nuke plants, and yes you can build one near me if you like. Even a crappy old nuke plant doesn't kill everyone when a giant tsunami hits it, so I'm even less worried about a modern "inherently safe" design, and plus I don't live in a tsunami zone.

    Anyone who honestly believes in human-caused climate change must be in favor of nuke plants as they release no CO2. We should be building modern nuke plants and closing down coal plants. And yes, build modern nuke plants and closing down the four-decades-old nuke plants. And invest in research on thorium, traveling wave, etc.

    And go ahead and build solar power too while you are at it. Just shut down the damn coal plants.

  • Re:What the (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:32AM (#46292595)

    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.

    The thing is, in large groups, secrets are extremely hard to keep. Is it bothersome that they are quiet about these kinds of things? Yeah. But at the same time, I know exactly why they do it: PR is a very delicate thing. A lot of companies are tight lipped about even the most innocuous things that go on within their company because it's stupid easy for somebody to misconstrue it and damage your reputation horridly.

    For examples of this, see the recent events where Gabe Newell openly talked about the DNS cache issue, or that MS UX designer who admitted even senior executives at the company are reluctant to talk about internal happenings. Sometimes it's not just the concerns over their bottom line, sometimes it's concerns over just how stressful it can be to deal with public opinion on a large scale. The developer of that game flappy bird was bringing in $50k a day but stopped because he couldn't handle the PR stress, the developer of Fez quit the games industry for the same reason.

    Something more closely related to this: Why did the Hadly CRU keep their data so tightly restricted before the email scandal? That's why. Some journalist whose life mission is to get a Pulitzer prize will comb for just the smallest bit of interesting data to create a media shitstorm, no matter how meaningless that data might be. Even when it is debunked, the damage is still done and it is permanent, mainly because of the way urban legends never die. (People still think Bill Gates said we don't need more than 640k of memory, or that Richard Gere put a gerbil in his butt, but neither of these things ever actually happened.)

    Likewise, I'm sure the energy companies involved keep their data hidden for similar reasons. Meanwhile hundreds if not thousands of engineers and scientists work for these companies. I'm pretty sure that if there was something going on, one of them would say something. I mean shit, if it can happen to the NSA, it can happen to anybody.

    They aren't going to outright deny any of these claims either, because that can make things worse. Here's a perfect example: I'm sure you've heard of that "unfair campaign" before, where they say you can't see racism if you're wrhite. Speak all you want about how that's such a bullshit claim, (which it is) but if you're a white guy you automatically have no credibility. And worse, if you go around calling BS on it, then people will point fingers at you calling you a racist for denying racism. It's a shitty situation, but unfortunately that's how you have to deal with stupid people.

  • Re:What the (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:03AM (#46292691)
    Well, the risk of environmental contamination is pretty real and the consequences severe. Fracking works by injecting ridiculous large quantities of chemicals and water into bedrock and then the pressure from the heat and gas sends a lot of those chemicals and water back to the surface where it is collected in ponds. While there might not be clear evidence of the fracking process itself contaminating the groundwater, leaks of chemicals at the surface have happened and the consequences can be particularly nasty. To add insult to injury, many of these fracking companies have traditionally considered the cocktail trade secrets, so local residents, first responders, and regulators don't always know exactly what the contamination risk might. Fracking leading to fire shooting out of your faucets might be an urban legend like nuclear explosions at power plants. That does not mean that there is not a real risk of a significant catastrophe. The nuclear industry is tightly regulated. Fracking regulations, until recently, have been largely nonexistent.
  • Re:What the (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sFurbo (1361249) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @03:54AM (#46293025)

    Especially, flammable tap water.

    Great, an example of flammable water where they actually have established that something has changed. This puts it leaps and bounds beyond most such claims.
    However "the amount has changed" is not a proof that it is caused by fracking (correlation and causation and all that). It would be pretty easy to measure the amount of C-14 in the water, which would immediately tell whether it is old methane or methane from recent biodegradation. Until such a test has been performed, this goes in the "interesting, but not conclusive" category.

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