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Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson Sues to Stop Fracking Near His Home

February 24, 2014

Evidently Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon — the largest fracked gas producer in the U.S. — likes his home quiet, his air clean, and his property values pristine. So he’s suing to stop the shale gas operation next door. For years, he’s used his bully pulpit to attack fracking regulations as “dysfunctional” restraints on economic growth. But when the industry comes close to him, suddenly he wants more than just regulation. He wants to stop it.

In September 2012, while Rex Tillerson prepared his keynote speech praising the fracking juggernaut on the closing day of the “Shale Gas Insight” convention, protesters outside confronted shale gas industry conventioneers with signs such as, “I’m here to lie to you and exploit your community.” The nonviolent protesters experienced aggressive behavior from the police, who choked a legal observer, pulled the hair of a young man of color while arresting him; and shoved Rabbi Mordechai Liebling and elderly Rabbi Arthur Waskow roughly outside the police partition. Rex Tillerson’s keynote speech was delayed at least an hour by the protesters:

"Sunrise Intervention" protesters confront shale gas industry conventioneers in Philadelphia in September 2012, delaying Rex Tillerson's keynote address. Photo: The People's Record.
Photo of the Sunrise Intervention 2012, at the “Shale Gas Insight” industry convention (the day after Shale Gas Outrage), from The People’s Record: “Brilliant Protest Tactics: Learn From Philly.”
Now, as if to prove the protesters correct and himself duplicitous, Rex Tillerson himself has joined in a lawsuit claiming that the noise and air pollution from fracking water trucks will reduce his property values.
                                                                                                                                              Unlike ordinary people painfully dislocated by the shale gas industry, Rex Tillerson, the biggest fracker in the world, has the resources to sue the industry. Contrast his rich and powerful position with the people of Riverdale, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, who were evicted — their entire community destroyed — so that the shale gas industry could withdraw hundreds of millions of gallons from the Susquehanna River where the Riverdale community had stood. There they had traded babysitting, taken care of each other, and enjoyed the river’s quiet beauty… and there the bulldozers came. Despite one of the longest blockades in anti-fracking history in the U.S., they didn’t have a chance.

Rex Tillerson may have a chance — but his hypocrisy is not lost on anyone.

Fracking is never just “frac’ing,” the fracturing stage of shale gas drilling. As Rex Tillerson has suddenly personally discovered, this is an industry whose construction of well pads, roads, pipelines, compressor stations; whose waste dumping, waste leaking, water withdrawal, water transport, chemical transport, chemical leaks, radioactive toxic salt brine dumping, fracked gas processing, diesel exhaust, methane leaks, VOC emissions, radioactive drill cuttings dumping, extreme noise and crime ARE what ordinary people mean when they say “fracking.”

Re-blogged from Daily Kos, by FishOutofWater on February 21st, 2014:
Rex Tillerson finally tells the truth about fracking. It lowers property values.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson may be the world’s biggest fracker (Exxon is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S.) but he isn’t stupid. He’ll frack my backyard and tell me it’s good for me and he’ll frack your place too, but don’t let any frackers near his home. He knows damn well that fracking lowers property values, but he wouldn’t admit it until the frackers came to his place. He just joined a lawsuit to stop the fracking because it would lower the value of his property.

Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home.The Wall Street Journal reports the tower would supply water to a nearby fracking site, and the plaintiffs argue the project would cause too much noise and traffic from hauling the water from the tower to the drilling site. The water tower, owned by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation, “will sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing [sic] shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” the suit says.

Though Tillerson’s name is on the lawsuit, a lawyer representing him said his concern is about the devaluation of his property, not fracking specifically.

When he is acting as Exxon CEO, not a homeowner, Tillerson has lashed out at fracking critics and proponents of regulation. “This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness,” he said in 2012.

Thousands of North Carolinians, like me, living in Moore, Lee, Chatham, Orange, Wake and Durham counties want to keep fracking out of our communities because fracking is incompatible with biotech, IT, retirement, higher education, world class hospitals, and the wonderful farm to market movement that has developed in central North Carolina. Our properties, our universities and schools, our farms, our retirement communities, our hospitals and our businesses deserve the same protection from loss of property values and environmental damage as Rex Tillerson’s. And our children deserve clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.

Read the post on Daily Kos with 130 comments — and feel free to comment below, as well. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, New York, West Virginia, Ohio and more: we’re all drawing closer together in a united struggle against the extreme arrogance of Chevron, Exxon and the like, who have lost control of public opinion just like they lost control of the fire that incinerated a worker thirteen days ago.

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2 Comments
  1. February 24, 2014 12:34 pm

    Two points: 1) If he wins this suit, it will be able to be used against the industry in future suits by others because it will set a precedence on the subject. 2) If he doesn’t win the suit ….. let him live with fracking like others who have been for years now – the old “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. ****I hope he wins because of the ripple effect it will have in the courts and the industry as a whole !!!!!!

  2. March 4, 2014 6:19 pm

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear him decide to move away and sell or abandon the property. With all the publicity this had drawn to him and the hypocrisy I’d imagine he and his lawyers want to distance themselves.

    Also, awesome photo from the Sunrise Intervention. Those world and thought balloons are brilliant and should be employed as often as possible. Very visually striking!

    Peace.

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