Well, look at that: Some clouds really do have silver linings.
Last week, residents of Bobtown, Pa., a rural town about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, were awakened by an early morning explosion at a nearby fracking well operated by Chevron. Flames shot high in the air, and the well burned for five days before the company could extinguish the blaze. An on-site worker was injured; another is missing and presumed dead.
The grim incident shook the small community. To make amends, what’s a big oil company to do? Send a care package, of course.
Well, more like two pieces of paper. First: an artfully crafted non–apology note. (“We value being a responsible member of this community and will continue to strive to achieve incident-free operations.”) Second: a pizza gift certificate. No, scratch that—a pizza and a two-liter drink.
In Pennsylvania, one of the country’s most-fracking-friendly states, up to 4.3 million gallons of potable water is used to frack a single well (the Keystone State is home to more than 6,300 fracking wells), with half of the resultant wastewater treated and then expelled into rivers and streams.
Still, Gov. Tom Corbett is campaigning to reverse rulings that preserve many of Pennsylvania’s regions from drilling.
While some may question Chevron’s method of atonement, one resident still considers the company a good neighbor.
He told Al Jazeera, “I guess they were just trying to be nice.”