Exxon CEO: Don’t frack in my backyard

Published time: February 22, 2014 02:36                                                                             

Exxon Mobil CEO and Chairman Rex Tillerson.(Reuters / Kevin Lamarque )Exxon Mobil CEO and Chairman Rex Tillerson.(Reuters / Kevin Lamarque )

The CEO of ExxonMobil – the top producer of natural gas in the US – has joined a lawsuit that challenges the construction of a water tower connected to hydraulic fracturing operations near his Texas home, given that it may reduce the property value.

CEO Rex Tillerson and other plaintiffs claim the hydraulic  fracturing – or fracking – project will cause unwanted noise and  traffic associated with trucking water from the 160-foot tower to  the drilling site, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The tower will provide 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,” according to the lawsuit. The water tower is owned  by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation.

Tillerson’s lawyer claims the noise, traffic, and actual fracking  does not bother the ExxonMobil CEO, stating that it is the  possible depreciation of his $5 million property in Bartonville,  Texas that he is worried about.

Fracking is the controversial process of injecting  water, sand, and various chemicals into layers of rock, in hopes  of releasing oil and gas deep underground. Fracking in a single  well can take millions of gallons of freshwater.

Tillerson himself has excoriated fracking regulations amid the  practice’s boom across the country.

“This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the  American economic recovery, growth, and global  competitiveness,” he said in 2012, Reuters reported.

In another 2012 interview – with the Council on Foreign Relations  – Tillerson said that natural gas production today has been  revamped with new technologies, “so the risks are very  manageable.”

Yet fracking’s popularity with energy behemoths like ExxonMobil  is finding resistance across the US based on more than property  values and noise complaints.

Fracking is exhausting water supplies in areas of the country  that are suffering from chronic shortages, including Texas.

The practice has also been linked to an upsurge of earthquakes in many areas of the nation.

A recent study showed that the fetus of pregnant woman living  within a 10-mile range of a fracking well is in much greater  danger of congenital heart defects (CHD) and neural tube defects  (NTD).

Another recent study found that chemicals used in fracking are suspected  of being endocrine disruptors, which “could raise the risk of  reproductive, metabolic, neurological and other diseases,  especially in children who are exposed to” the materials.

On Thursday, a letter signed by over 1,000 doctors and health  professionals was sent by Environment America to President Barack  Obama, highlighting many other damaging health and environmental  effects associated with fracking.

The group’s concerns about fracking included drinking water contamination, carcinogenic air pollution,  acute and chronic health effects, and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Given this toll of damage, the prudent and precautionary  response would be to stop fracking,” the letter reads.   “Instead, the oil and gas industry is seeking to expand  fracking at a frenzied pace, even into areas that provide  drinking water for millions of Americans.”

Those living within a half-mile of a fracking site “had a  higher excess lifetime risk of developing cancer than people  living farther away,” the letter says.

For its part, ExxonMobil told The Wall Street Journal that it   “has no involvement” in Tillerson’s lawsuit.

As ThinkProgress points out, there is reason to believe that  Exxon’s oil and gas development projects have compromised human health and the  environment, much less hurt property values.

One recent example is the company’s spill of up to 7,000 barrels  of tar sands oil in a neighborhood of Mayflower, Arkansas nearly  one year ago. Locals are still suffering from dizziness,  headaches, and nausea – prompting many to move away if their  homes aren’t already severely damaged.

“I have friends who still live here. They don’t have a place  to go. They have small children…and they’re all sick,” one  Mayflower resident told RT recently.

ExxonMobil pays Tillerson $40.3 million a year.

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1 reply »

  1. oh – I DO hope that tower is left right next to his house and we can all feel justified in saying ‘serves you right – you don’t give a s### until it is YOUR property ???? ‘
    – enjoy !!!