Energy Firms Donate Office Space, Flashlights and $Millions
The aid from energy companies came in all shapes and forms: from the millions of dollars donated by major oil companies to office space, oil-filled tanker trucks, respirators, boots, gloves, flashlights and cell phones, in response to the national emergency created by the massive terrorist attacks on the United States last Tuesday.
PPL Corp. was lighting the peace candle on the west side of its 22-story headquarters building in Allentown, PA, Thursday night and continuing through the weekend "as a symbol of the light that the American spirit can bring to even the darkest circumstances. The lighting of this candle, which normally occurs only at the holiday season, is a way for all of us at PPL to express our hope for a world in which peace triumphs over acts of violence," said PPL CEO William F. Hecht.
"While no amount of money can alleviate the pain and suffering of the victims of these horrific acts, we hope that these funds will help in the recovery process for the families affected by this tragedy,'' said ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond in pledging up to $20 million from his company and employees. Exxon donated an initial $5 million and is matching employee contributions three to one. The money will go to agencies and charitable organizations that are assisting surviving families of the injured and deceased rescue personnel in both New York and Washington, D.C., and responding to other needs arising from the disaster.
BP, Chevron, Texaco and Amerada Hess also have each announced $5 million corporate donations for victims and restoration of facilities following the catastrophic attacks. Phillips Petroleum is donating $3 million. Williams Gas Pipeline helped launch the Sept. 11th Fund which is supporting multiple disaster relief efforts, with a $1 million donation.
New York City-based KeySpan Corp., besides donating money and matching employee contributions, is providing some of the basics for the rescue effort, such as gloves, goggles, and respirators. KeySpan has five tanker trucks standing ready to roll to provide re-fueling for either generators or emergency vehicles. Also "gas and electric critical supplies have been inventoried and stand ready to be provided to Con Edison. Available office space is being inventoried for possible use by dislocated businesses from the affected area." The company also has released all personnel who have volunteer jobs as firefighters, emergency medical technicians or other rescue-related jobs from normal work duty.
GPU Energy of Philadelphia provided cells phones to the Red Cross, dispatched its field command center to the airplane crash site in western Pennsylvania for use by the FBI, and provided six-wheel all-terrain vehicles at the site. It also has sent a truckload of surplus necessity items for the rescue and recovery efforts underway in New York City, including hard hats, safety glasses, rain suits, work gloves, flashlights, batteries, bottled water and plastic tarps.
CEOs Dave O'Reilly of Chevron and Glenn F. Tilton of Texaco, said in a joint statement: "All of us share deep feelings of sympathy for those who lost mothers, fathers, sons or daughters, neighbors, friends or colleagues. While we grieve, we also turn our attention to the daunting challenge of rescue, relief and recovery, and we recognize the financial and logistical scale of these efforts. We hope this pledge will help in some way with the necessary work that must be done in the coming days, weeks and months." The merging companies said they would work with national, state and local relief agencies to distribute the funds where they are needed most.
BP said its initial $5 million donation will include: $2 million to be donated to an emergency services relief fund called New York City Public/Private Investment, which serves the members and families of police, fire and emergency medical services departments; $1 million to the American Red Cross, which has set up disaster relief and counseling centers in numerous US locations; $2 million in contributions to other organizations responding to the relief efforts; and one million gallons of fuel going to New York emergency services working on disaster relief. BP said it has been offering free fuel to the effort since Tuesday in New York, Washington, DC, and in the Northeast.
In addition, a BP Employee Disaster Relief Fund has been established in response to interest expressed by employees. BP employees around the globe can make contributions to assist those affected by the tragedy. For every dollar given by an employee, BP will match those funds on a three-to-one basis.
BP also reiterated its commitment made on Tuesday not to increase wholesale and retail gasoline prices and confirmed "we have adequate stocks of fuel for the U.S. market."
Amerada Hess said it had pledged $5 million to help the families of New York City firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers who died or were injured helping victims of the attack on the World Trade Center.
"As a company based in New York, we are deeply appreciative of the heroic and courageous efforts of the New York City firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers who have responded to this tragedy. We are acutely aware of the pain and suffering of thousands of families and the extraordinary efforts being made by relief organizations. Our hopes and prayers are with the families of all those affected," said John Hess, CEO of Amerada Hess.
Funds will be administered by the two organizations, which will form a distribution committee to ensure that resources are deployed effectively in New York and other cities affected by these tragic events. The effort is supported by the Washington-based Council on Foundations.
Enron also donated $1 million, split between the American Red Cross and organizations assisting affected families of police, fire and emergency medical services. In addition Enron is encouraging its 18,000 global employees to make personal donations up to $15,000, which Enron will match and double. Enron's Washington office already has contributed supplies to the Pentagon rescue workers.
In another approach, Entergy and Exelon pledged $500,000 each to launch The Power of America Fund to ensure future educational assistance to the surviving children of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. They are inviting other power companies, employees and customers to make donations to the fund. "Our whole industry, I'm sure, wants to make certain that the children left behind by these American heroes, who died so tragically in an unspeakable attack on this country, are not cut off from the opportunity for a college education because of the death of their parent or parents," said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy CEO. Tax deductible contributions should be made to the Power of America Fund, 1055 St. Charles Ave., Suite 100, New Orleans, LA 70130. The fund is being administered by the Education Testing Services of Princeton, NJ.
Duke Energy on Wednesday said it was making an immediate $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross. In addition, the company will make an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of donations made by individual Duke Energy employees to the American Red Cross through Oct. 31, 2001.
"There is an urgent need for recovery and healing after Tuesday's events," said Rick Priory, Duke chairman.
"The victims and families of Tuesday's tragedy must take heart that all of America stands behind them. We at Dominion are proud to do our part," said Dominion CEO Thos. E. Capps, in pledging $500,000, split between two funds: the September 11th Fund and the Commonwealth of Virginia Victims Assistance Fund. CMS Energy also donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross.
Merging San Antonio-based companies Valero Energy and Ultramar Diamond Shamrock have teamed up to contribute $500,000 to the American Red Cross. "This is a time for Americans to clearly demonstrate that we pull together in times of need,'' said Valero CEO Bill Greehey. "It's time to show the world that while terrorists may attempt to strike fear in the hearts of Americans, we're not afraid. And, it's time to show the world that this tragedy is only going to make us stronger. We should all do our part and show the world what Americans are made of." UDS CEO Jean Gaulin said "we're absolutely unified in agreeing it's our responsibility to help the thousands of individuals and families who were impacted by this tragedy. It's critical that we all do our part to support our neighbors in our national community."
Marathon Oil Company and Marathon Ashland Petroleum are also targeting the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund for their donation of $200,000. "At Marathon our thoughts, prayers and support are with all victims and their families affected by this tragedy. Our donation is on behalf of our worldwide workforce to assist the American Red Cross in their on-going rescue and relief efforts,'' said Marathon Oil President Clarence P. Cazalot.
Unocal Corp. said it was donating $100,000 to support emergency relief efforts, including $50,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to the September 11th Fund. "The attacks on innocent American civilians and military personnel is a national tragedy," said Charles R. Williamson, Unocal CEO. "By these donations, we hope to assist immediate efforts now under way to help our fellow citizens whose lives have been disrupted by these heinous acts."
Progress Energy, the parent of Carolina Power & Light and Florida Power, has a novel program to match all contributions made within the company's service territories to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund dollar for dollar. The company is publishing a coupon that donors can mail in or take with their donation to a local Red Cross blood donation center.
In a volume-related method of contributing, participating Shell and Texaco gas stations in the state of New York will donate two cents for every gallon of gasoline sold through the end of September as part of a ``Pump Pennies'' campaign. The funds collected from this campaign will be donated to the American Red Cross of New York. Participating Shell and Texaco stations in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will donate one cent per gallon to the campaign through the end of September.
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