It is true that I am not a resident of Bobtown in Greene County, but I am a resident of Fayette County and have plenty of experience dealing with Chevron. Professionally, I support residents whose lives are unjustly and grossly impacted by Chevron and other operators’ “do whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we please” attitude. The blatant disregard shown in how the company practices locally and internationally supports the intended message of the petition delivery (asking for an apology after Chevron offered pizza coupons to the community after a natural gas well exploded): We are sick of being exploited for profit and we deserve justice in our communities and some real compensation for losses.
One may argue there are not many stories being told publicly regarding impacted families, drinking water and so on, so natural gas development must not be as dangerous as “sensationalists” claim. The residents I spend countless hours supporting do not want to speak to reporters who are going to change the story and write as though it is the impacted people on a limb instead of the offending parties. The March 7 Associated Press article “Chevron Pizza 'Scandal’ Isn’t One in Small Town” (post-gazette.com) supports this conclusion. I am personally in contact with many families in Fayette and other counties who agree with the message of the petition, more than a few of whom are being exploited by Chevron. This is not an exaggerated claim of frustration, but rather an international effort to draw attention to the very real issue, which is that natural gas industrialization is destroying the lives of Pennsylvanians.
Without more than two seconds of thought I can identify at least a dozen households in Fayette and Westmoreland counties in which lives are actively being destroyed by natural gas industrialization.
Bullskin, Fayette County
The writer is a community organizer with the Mountain Watershed Association.