Chevron sparked considerable outrage a few weeks ago when it apologized for a very loud, very disruptive fracking well explosion in Bobtown, Pa., with coupons for free pizza
Nearly 13,000 people have signed a MoveOn.org petition
demanding a further apology for the explosion, calling the pizza coupons “an insult.” According to an Associated Press story
, none of those people are from Bobtown, though a few are from surrounding communities. Many are from other states or even other countries.
Kevin Begos’ story quotes several Bobtown residents who appreciated the gesture and thought the uproar over the coupons was blown way out of proportion.
“I thought it was pretty decent of them,” said resident Ray Elli. The explosion was about a mile away from the town, so though it was loud, residents didn’t really feel threatened by it. (One worker did die.) Many viewed the coupons as an apology for emergency-vehicle traffic, not the explosion itself.
A Chevron spokesman said the company has been “overwhelmed by the support” from the town residents. The company hasn’t responded to the online petition.
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Bobtown and its 750 residents find themselves caught up in a much larger environmental debate about fracking. In Pennsylvania, where coal and natural gas are a huge part of the economy, drilling has considerable support. A poll released in May 2013
found that 49 percent of Pennsylvania residents support fracking, while 40 percent oppose it.
Of the 100 or so coupons Chevron distributed, about 12 have been used at the local pizza place, Bobtown Pizza.