Free Pizza if your Fracking Well Explodes!

February 18, 2014

No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up.

Raw Story:

Last Tuesday, residents of the small town Bobtown, Pennsylvania woke to an explosion and a massive, high-temperature fire, at the site of a fracking well owned by the Chevron corporation. It wasn’t just any fire, either. Wrote the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Feb. 12:

More than 12 hours after an explosion that “sounded like a jet engine going 5 feet above your house,” as one neighbor put it, the fire, fueled by the well’s gas, continued to shoot flames and smoke into the air, causing a hissing sound that could be heard a quarter-mile away.

The heat from the blaze — which caused a tanker truck on site that was full of propane gas to explode — was so intense that first responders from local fire departments had to pull back rather than risk injury.

“They essentially retreated to let the fire burn,” said John Poister, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which had three people on site investigating.

One person was injured and another presumed dead.

On Sunday, Chevron Appalachia Community Outreach sent a gift certificate to those who lived in the vicinity of the blast offering them a two liter bottle of soda and one large pizza.


Is there a catch? Well, sort of – the certificate is good for a “special combo only.” Remember, Chevron’s yearly profits declined in 2013 and the firm made just barely over $21 billion. You weren’t really expected pepperoni, too, were you? (Note: the pizza certificates were first reported by No Fracking Way and Raging Chicken Press — I called (!!) the pizza shop and confirmed that about 100 of the certificates were distributed by Chevron.)

Of course, a cynic would argue that a lifetime supply of pizza — even with those cheesy breadsticks thrown in — wouldn’t be worth the health risks of having a massive fracking rig next door. On the other hand, I see a possible new marketing campaign for Chevron: We guarantee your fracking rig won’t explode, or your pizza is free!


42 Responses to “Free Pizza if your Fracking Well Explodes!”

  1. anotheralionel Says:

    Sorry but my head exploded about two seconds after my irony meter. A free pizza – hope it was cooked.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    “No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up”? Join the club. Great links in this post, and one will add to your cynicism.

    Frackers Fracking Landowners
    by Chip Northrup on February 14, 2014

    Pennsylvania landowners that thought they were going to be the next Beverly Fracking Hillbillies held a rally demanding that frackers stop fracking them – by deducting indecipherable “post production” costs – for “marketing” “transportation” “road repair” and “political contributions” from their royalty checks – which leaves them nothing. Like their neighbors – who just get fracked – no checks.

    If I read that right, the landowners are getting fracked over in many ways, but having to kick in for “political contributions” by the gas company is priceless.

  3. andrewfez Says:


    ‘We’re sorry to have missed you’, wouldn’t be my first choice of words after blowing up one guy and injuring another.

    ‘Committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbors’, should entail not putting any wells near towns or water supplies. And figuring out how to recycle your fracking water…

  4. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    So that’s how cheaply they value the lives of inconvenient residents?

    If you’ve got an hour or two, this captivating talk by Josh Fox on fracking, may raise a few more cynical eyebrows at the wholesale rape of the environment and trampling of residents.

    “The Case for a Total Ban on Fracking” by Josh Fox

    The addiction to oil and its business practices is slipping into overdose.

    • I agree.  I’m against fracking.  By extension, I have to oppose any business or technology which essentially or effectively requires fracking in order to continue.  Since fast-ramping fossil-fired capacity is more or less synonymous with gas-fired turbines, and (until large-scale battery buffering is cheap enough to be feasible) it is required to support wind power beyond minimal penetrations, I oppose attempts to expand wind power.

      • Phillip Shaw Says:

        How difficult would it be to convert fast-ramping plants to run on hydrogen instead of natural gas? It seems to me that ‘surplus’ power, whether wind, solar or whatever, could be stored as compressed hydrogen gas. The hydrogen would be available to generate electricity through modified peaker plants, or for high-energy industrial operations such as foundries. Hydrogen could be transported through the existing pipelines now used for natural gas. Compressed hydrogen can also be used to fuel trucks and buses.

        Two fundamental advantages of hydrogen over natural gas are 1) it’s renewable and sustainable, and 2) burning hydrogen doesn’t exacerbate AGW.

        • How difficult would it be to convert fast-ramping plants to run on hydrogen instead of natural gas?

          I think I remember something (quick dig)… GE states its small heavy-duty gas turbines can burn hydrogen.

          It seems to me that ‘surplus’ power, whether wind, solar or whatever, could be stored as compressed hydrogen gas.

          In practice, most hydrogen is made by steam methane reforming (CH4 + H2O -> CO2 + H2, with some added O2 to provide the energy to crack the CH4).  Electrolysis is expensive and not competitive at high volumes (NREL predicts $4.15 to $5.45/kg, which is almost certainly optimistic).  That’s the projection, not what you can get it for today.

          Taking the median of $4.80/kg, 142 MJ/kg and the GE 10-1 gas turbine peak efficiency of 31.4%, the fuel cost of generated power is 38.8¢/kWh; with the LMS100PB at 44.5%, 27.3¢/kWh.  This assumes operation at peak efficiency, which will seldom (if ever) be true of a unit running as a balancing generator.  Amortization and O&M are extra.

          Bottom line:  using hydrogen from RE to store electricity is for rich people.  It makes Danish electricity look cheap.

          Hydrogen could be transported through the existing pipelines now used for natural gas.

          Hydrogen embrittlement of steel pipelines is an issue, and the existing pumping stations designed for gas of MW=16 will simply not work at MW=2.  Then there’s the little detail that H2 gas has about 1/3 the energy per unit volume as methane does.

          When you get down to it, wires work better for moving power than hydrogen does.  Batteries do a much better job of storing energy over periods of minutes to hours (far more efficient).  Hydrogen only seems really useful for storing energy for periods of days and longer, and it’s hardly cheap for that.  At some point you have to wonder if hydrogen is the solution is to the correct problem.

          This is why I keep coming back to nuclear energy.  You don’t have to store it, you just have to break it loose.

  5. uknowispeaksense Says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I also don’t know which is more insulting..the voucher or the claim that Chevron care for the environment.

    • vierotchka Says:

      Or the claim by Chevron that “We value being a responsible member of this community…”

    • Shows how little they care. Glad you won your bet. I’m done. DNFTT. Just a troll. Nothing special. Finally figured out no one else that experienced him is paying any attention anymore. Self discrediting without comment. Might be a source of inspiration for future CC though.

      • uknowispeaksense Says:

        I changed the bet to picking individual comments from anyone that he responds to and mentions nuclear power. We also have a multiplier for how tenuous his segue is.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Actually, he made a pretty good comment about why hydrogen is “pesky stuff” and won’t work very well for anything but zeppelin destruction.

          I would amend his statement about NE that “You don’t have to store it, you just have to break it loose”. He needs to add that once you “break it loose”, you have to be exceedingly careful with it—-in contrast with normal “fuels” that stop burning unless you replenish them and provide oxygen, fissile materials want to “run away and go to China” and are hard to stop.

          • To be more accurate, the fissile materials used in current reactors decay fairly slowly, but after releasing most of their energy in fission there’s still some energy in the fission products and it is released much faster than in the original.  After a few hundred years, the rate of energy release falls to less than the original uranium ore (being hotter = burning out faster).

            So far, the “run away to China” scenario has never occurred.  Even at F. Dai’ichi, indications are that most of the core materials are still in the reactor vessels.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            I was not speaking of decay but referring to the fact that the fission process in an active reactor just naturally wants to “ramp up” via an exponentially increasing chain reaction and must be “held back” with control rods. As opposed to normal combustion that can be controlled by simple fuel or oxygen starvation or cooling.

            Once something goes wrong, the reactors can “run away”. The China Syndrome is a bit of hyperbole, but Japan, Chernobyl, and TMI show us where it can go. (And I am reassured that “most” of the core materials are still in the vessels).

          • Wow. I am lost. I was getting some pizza at a fracking site in Pennsylvania, then whoosh, here I am in the guts of a melted down nuclear reactor in Japan. I can see stuff that nobody else can see, not even a robot. Are we off topic now?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Not off-topic for E-Pot, he’s a “one-note-song” kind of guy, and will hum his tune anytime, anyplace. (and remember, no anchovies)

        • We could break it into categories. How tiresome his spiel is. How many times he repeats a debunked comment. How many times he calls me a liar. His nuclear vacuum cleaner sales pitch is losing zest. Its a relief to me to let somebody else respond to him. Judging from their pained responses, they would have preferred I respond instead, but I don’t respond to omni anymore either. What’s the point? Neither one is fooling anybody who isn’t a fool already, and darn few of them either. I finally realized his shtick was turning everybody else off, not just me. Its not even a nuclear thing really, its the whole insufferableness. No need to explain. Everyone has experienced it in their own way. From my perspective, people who post first, research and reference second, then demand they are right when contradicted by balanced referenced citation…. forgetaboutit. They are not interested in a fair and open exchange.

  6. Sir Charles Says:

    Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland – Issue No. 26 – February 15, 2014

    + Fracking linked to birth defects
    + Cuadrilla lacks radioactive waste permits, withdraws fracking applications
    + UK public support for fracking down despite government efforts

  7. MorinMoss Says:

    Hey, net income was down 1% from the same quarter from the previous year. A responsible business has gotta tighten its belt when times are tough.

    $5 billion quarterly profits sure sounds like a lot but, you know, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re out real money.

  8. kanspaugh Says:

    Can I get that with banana peppers and petcoke?

Leave a Reply to Andy Lee Robinson Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: