By Nikki Bean
As many residents gained concern over the explosion of a nearby gas well, what stuck with most was the form of apology they received from the company that put them in danger.
On Tuesday, February 11, a blast from a natural gas well in Greene County, PA killed one employee and injured another. In addition, the explosion from the well, owned by Chevron, sparked a fire that burned for four days. Chevron is extending their apologies in the form of edible compensation: certificates for free pizza and soda. According to an article appearing on CNN.com, the company, a leading gas distributor, ordered one hundred certificates to be handed out to surrounding residents of the well. This was also confirmed by an employee of the restaurant where the certificates could be redeemed.
This method of compensation is not sitting well with residents in the area, many of whom received certificates from the company. To them, this was a “slap in the face,” as one resident told a reporter from CNN. Viera students also feel like this repayment was not up to par. “I believe that certificates were completely inappropriate and inadequate to make up for a death,” said Evan Druding, a senior. “I would expect the company to compensate the family by lost wages of the family member.” Lexy Lockwood, a junior, also weighed in on Chevron’s response, explaining that, “Food marketing for the company isn’t going to make up for the death.”
In the wake of the local disaster, Chevron took to their website to respond to the event. Posting an update to their website just after the accident, the company announced the following: “Chevron is working cooperatively with local, state and federal agencies and emergency response organizations to assess the current situation and respond to the incident.” While there are extensive reports on the cleanup of the well, there is no specific mention of the company’s plans to compensate the surrounding residents as well as the affected family of the deceased employee.
“Chevron would like to express our sincere regret to those who many be affected by the incident,” the company’s website reads. Maybe payment for the funeral of the deceased or a specific compensation to affected families , compared to gift certificates, would be a better apology.