For Exxon Mobil CEO, Fracking's Fine, Just Not In His Backyard

Here we see a fracking site in Texas. Tim Lewis (CC-BY-SA)

The contentious practice of hydraulic fracturing — commonly referred to as “fracking,” thus offering opponents a handy resemblance to a popular expletive — isn’t something Exxon Mobil’s head honcho, Rex Tillerson, has opposed.

True to form, Tillerson, like many of his pro-corporate colleagues in the intermingled realms of industry and governance, registered his support for fracking by speaking out against “overzealous regulation” of the drilling technique in 2011, and the company he helms promoted fracking in the New York press, as Vice’s Olivia Becker notes. But when his own Texas spread was roped into just that sort of project, Tillerson got downright litigious:

In related news, Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, has joined a lawsuit to stop a 15-story water tower, to be used for fracking, from being built near his 83-acre Texas ranch. Tillerson and his fellow plaintiffs—among then former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey—argue that the proposed water tower would “devalue their properties and adversely impact the rural lifestyle they sought to enjoy.” The plaintiffs state their ranches are all worth at least $1 million; Tillerson’s in particular sounds wonderful, with “homes, barns, and a state-of-the-art horse training facility.”

The lawsuit details the concerns Tillerson and his fellow ranch-owners have about fracking, including the noise, light pollution, and environmental harm they believe it will cause. They assert that the fracking will result in “undesirable development not in character with their neighborhood.”

Unfortunately for Tillerson, it looks like the earth-shattering plan is likely to go forward, as the water tower’s construction is already close to completion.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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