Yesterday while most of us were sweating it out on public transit on a particularly warm Spare the Air day, a San Francisco Shell gas station was giving away full tanks of gas to some 240 motorists in the Mission. Thanks to the unfortunate confluence of Shell's marketing machine and yesterday's breezeless day, the two events collided to give the Examiner a story on possible corporate misbehavior.
Hugo Cerna, manager of the Shell Station at Mission and Dolores, told the Examiner, "I don’t think anyone at Shell knew this was a Spare the Air Day." A spokesman from the Air Quality Management district also weighed in, sputtering: "We really like to discourage people from driving alone on a Spare the Air Day. So having a free gas event is something we’d rather not have gas station do.”
During the giveaway, Mission Shell gave away 15 gallons each to 240 customers. That works out to 3,600 gallons of free gas or roughly 35 tons of CO2 emissions, if we're talking pollution. But, really... who's counting?