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ugly pepperoni pizza
Finally, an oil company reacts with genuine class. Last week a Chevron-owned natural gas well near Bobtown, Pennsylvania, exploded, injuring one worker and presumably killing another (the presumably part being because the worker remains missing, but even after the five-day effort to contain the resulting inferno no body was recovered). The public has been a bit on edge when it comes to tracking operations like the Chevron well and their myriad environmental effects, so having one explode outright presents a bit of an awkward public relations problem. Not to worry, though: Chevron has solved the problem by delivering to every Bobtown household a coupon for one large pizza and one 2-liter drink, along with a heartfelt apology letter.
Dear Neighbor,

We are sorry to have missed you. We wanted to provide you with a status update on the February 11 incident that occurred on Chevron Appalachia's Lancoe 7 H well pads in Dunkard Township and see if you had any questions or concerns that we could address.

Chevron recognizes the effect this has had on the community. We value being a responsible member of the community and will continue to strive to achieve incident-free operations. We are committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbors, our employees, our contractors and the environment.

There is no word on whether the families of the injured and killed workers received, say, an additional order of garlic bread, or whether rescue workers each get their own 2-liter bottle of soda or have to share among themselves. But hey, it's something, right?

See, here we have a perfect example of what West Virginia has been doing wrong. In West Virginia, your tap water can be poisoned by coal-washing chemicals of unknown toxicity and your only remedies are to drink it, to buy your own damn water if there's a local store that has some left, or to seek out water trucks that may or may not have been filled from the exact same water system that you've been told to not drink from. In Pennsylvania, if a fracking well explodes, incinerates a person or two and nearly takes out your town you'll get a free pizza out of it. Ka-ching, baby. (Good for ONE special combo pizza and one 2-liter drink only. Expires May 1.)

On the other hand: Hmm. Pennsylvania may just price themselves out of the fracking business completely if buying town residents pizza is to be considered the usual apology for blowing something up. It'd be a lot cheaper to drill wells in a state where you aren't expected to send apology pizza; a state could steal a good amount of business if their governor promised to buy the company a pizza every time something leaked or caught fire or choked a local water supply. Selling your state to the lowest bidder turns out to be a surprisingly complicated affair.

Originally posted to Hunter on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 11:58 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania, DK GreenRoots, Daily Kos Classics, and Daily Kos.

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