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Exxon Mobile CEO Sues To Stop Fracking Near His Texas Ranch 317

Posted by samzenpus
from the hoisting-with-his-own-petard dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Exxon Mobile's CEO Rex Tillerson's day job is to do all he can to protect and nurture the process of hydraulic fracturing—aka 'fracking'—so that his company can continue to rake in billions via the production and sale of natural gas. 'This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness,' said Tillerson in 2012 of attempts to increase oversight of drilling operations. But now Rick Unger reports at Forbes that Tillerson has joined a lawsuit seeking to shut down a fracking project near his Texas ranch. Why? Because the 160 foot water tower being built next to Tillerson's house that will supply the water to the near-by fracking site, means the arrival of loud trucks, an ugly tower next door, and the general unpleasantness that will interfere with the quality of his life and the real estate value of his sizeable ranch. The water tower is being built by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corp., a nonprofit utility that has supplied water to the region for half a century. Cross Timbers says that it is required by state law to build enough capacity to serve growing demand. In 2011, Bartonville denied Cross Timbers a permit to build the water tower, saying the location was reserved for residences. The water company sued, arguing that it is exempt from municipal zoning because of its status as a public utility. In May 2012, a state district court judge agreed with Cross Timbers and compelled the town to issue a permit. The utility resumed construction as the town appealed the decision. Later that year, the Tillersons and their co-plaintiffs sued Cross Timbers, saying that the company had promised them it wouldn't build a tower near their properties. An Exxon spokesman said Tillerson declined to comment. The company 'has no involvement in the legal matter' and its directors weren't told of Mr. Tillerson's participation, the spokesman said."
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Exxon Mobile CEO Sues To Stop Fracking Near His Texas Ranch

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:37AM (#46322949)

    Why is anyone surprised? This is like how Eric "Peeping Tom" Schmidt says people have no privacy and then complains about drones with cameras flying around his house. Don't you plebes know that the rich are our betters and deserve more rights? You're not a bunch of socialist retards are you?

    • by garyisabusyguy (732330) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:50AM (#46323089)

      we are just flowers to be plucked to supply bouquets of posies, so that the gentry do not need to smell the foulness of our rotting bodies

      So... does anybody directly remember the outrages of the 19th century? The work farms, then pauper prisons, the crowded workplaces where worker's only options to escape a fire were to launch themselves from multi-story buildings, or when the 'babysitter' was a bottle of laudanum to knock your baby out with opiates while you were working?

      Probably not, but all of these abuses were well documented and they are the direct result for the Union movements (along with global socialism) that knocked the landed gentry and robber barons off of their roosts and allowed the growth of a new class, the educated middle class that American hold so dear

      It is well past time that the middle class recognized that they are being pushed back into the 19th century and start pushing back

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:12AM (#46323297)

        we are just flowers to be plucked to supply bouquets of posies, so that the gentry do not need to smell the foulness of our rotting bodies

        aka, "mongo only pawn in game of life."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by StripedCow (776465)

      These CEOs worked hard for their privileges.
      You can start moaning when your salary is 1000x the average.

    • by swb (14022)

      I have no problem with the hypocrisy part of it, but what does the white part have to do with it?

    • by hey! (33014) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:34PM (#46324053) Homepage Journal

      It's like my uncle Ivan, an old-time red used to say to me. "Kid, nobody believes in socialism. Nobody believes in capitalism either. It's 'Socialism for me, capitalism for you."

    • by Dishevel (1105119) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:49PM (#46324203)
      He is not suing to stop the fracking. He is suing to not have a water tower built near his property.

      The utility says it needs to build more due to increased water demand due to the fracking.

      I hate it when people lie to prove a point. It makes their point suspect. Even if I were on the Anti-Fracking side I would not want an article like this to make my side look like lying, underhanded dipshits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:37AM (#46322955)

    only near poor people.

    I have NO doubt that this water plant will be stopped because this guy and his neighbors have the power. Then they'll just it to a poorer neighborhood.

    And the rich wonder they are resented.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:39AM (#46322981)

    Yay.

    Just like the rich ecofreaks suing to stop wind farms off Martha's Vinyard. OK, those folks did have a legit concern that a Kennedy might fly or drive into one, but still...

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:50AM (#46323091) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, but poor people worried about fracking are concerned with boring things like water-table pollution. This CEO and those people are worried about real life problems that actually matter, like property values.

      • by jythie (914043) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:02AM (#46323205)
        Something I find ironic is that one of the classic libertarian arguments I hear about NIMBY is that if one is unhappy with what one's neighbors are doing one should use their economic resources to move. Here we have someone with more then enough cash to move where ever they want, but they still want to control what their neighbors are doing with their land.
        • That only works at the local level. If your local merchant behaves badly wrt (NI)MBY, he'll get a bad reputation that will hurt his business. But when we're dealing with multinational corporations, this "local" connection is lost. Even if the locals boycott the bad actor, the rest of the world might continue buying their products, unaware of the "local" damage they do in a few isolated places.

          Here in Taiwan, it's as close to a Libertarian Paradise as I've ever encountered. Small, local businesses (like mine

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Except the CEO was actually more worried about the water tower being built next door than the water table.

        • Um, that's what I said, give or take?

          • by omnichad (1198475)

            OK. All but the last 3 words of your post say a different message without them. And I hit tl;dr at the line wrap. You can blame me for being lazy.

          • by ttucker (2884057)
            That's what the article says give or take, only the headline is 100% pure bullshit. Realize that the author of the article was paid for his deceptive work, meaning he actually is a shill.
    • by timeOday (582209)

      Just like the rich ecofreaks suing to stop wind farms off Martha's Vinyard.

      How many of those rich ecofreaks got rich selling windfarms ?

      • by Kohath (38547)

        None. They didn't produce anything or work to earn their money at all. They inherited it.

  • nimby (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rossdee (243626) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:41AM (#46322995)

    I take it its not his company thats doing the fraking

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      the high risk activities are usually farmed out to smaller companies that can be folded easily with little risk of the larger multinationals getting sued

      of course if Exxon Mobile just happens to buy and resell the oil... well their hands are clean

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      I take it its not his company thats doing the fraking

      Fraking isn't typically performed by oil companies but rather by oildfield service companies (Haliburton, Schlumberger, Sanjel, Baker Hughes and Trican all come to mind...).

  • Ridiculous. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StrangeBrew (769203) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:46AM (#46323051)
    It's crap like this that makes thinking individuals question the integrity of 'enviro-kooks'. Why would you put a title claiming that this CEO is suing to stop fracking, when your own summary makes it clear it's about the proximity of a water tower to his property?
    • by Valdrax (32670)

      It's crap like this that makes thinking individuals question the integrity of 'enviro-kooks'.

      If you were thinking clearly, you'd notice that it was a headline on a website that gets its money from page views and that inflammatory headlines are a great source of clicks. It's journalism you should be blaming here, not environmentalism.

      That is, unless you want to engage in exactly the same kind of attribution error to smear the opposition that you accuse them of making.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:49AM (#46323077)

    "Mobile"...Really? C'mon guys...

    Exxon MOBIL

  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:52AM (#46323109) Journal
    So there's a link, but it is a little disingenuous to say he's suing to stop fracking. His suit (linked from TFA) is about the water tower. He doesn't want a high-rise water tower across the street.
    He's actually ok with a low-rise water tower that he can't really see from his ranch.
    So, over-react much, headline writer?
    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:16AM (#46323327)

      So there's a link, but it is a little disingenuous to say he's suing to stop fracking. His suit (linked from TFA) is about the water tower. He doesn't want a high-rise water tower across the street. He's actually ok with a low-rise water tower that he can't really see from his ranch. So, over-react much, headline writer?

      If there weren't fracking to be done then the water wouldn't be needed, then there wouldn't be a water tower or the extra truck traffic, so it's not unrelated to fracking. Perhaps not about groundwater or earthquakes or whatever, but still an issue.

      And this actually brings up a less-often mentioned concern about gas extraction -- the conflict between water and energy resources. You need water to produce energy (and energy to "produce" water). IEEE Spectrum had a good feature [ieee.org] on this.

      • by Petron (1771156)

        If the lawsuit is successful, and the tower is blocked, it can be, and likely will, be constructed elsewhere. The lawsuit will not stop the fracking, at best it might delay it a little.

        Now, it a competitor is trying tap into a big resource... would it be in his best interest to be as much of a headache as possible... Delay the development so his competitor has to spent much more to get things done. Hmmm... just a thought.

      • Why are we using potable water for fracking?

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      The towers must be installed to a certain height or the water will never have the head necessary to supply the residents further out. The only way to reduce height would be to build 4 times as many towers. What he's really saying is don't build that tower near the rich, go build it in the poor neighborhood. The time honored request of the rich, which is why there's a federal law against singling out the poor for major infrastructure installations.

  • misleading (Score:5, Insightful)

    by therealkevinkretz (1585825) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:52AM (#46323117)

    He's not suing about fracking specifically, or any would-be-hypocrisy-laden dangers or damages associated with it. He's suing over a water tower and the traffic associated with it. There's a considerable difference.

    • Re:misleading (Score:5, Informative)

      by coldsalmon (946941) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:34AM (#46323477)

      Here is a copy of the complaint: http://online.wsj.com/public/r... [wsj.com]
      It is a municipal zoning issue, which mentions fracking in passing in paragraph 6.04. As far as I can tell, the main objection is to the height of the water tower and the fact that it does not comply with zoning ordinances.

      • by T.E.D. (34228)

        As far as I can tell, the main objection is to the height of the water tower and the fact that it does not comply with zoning ordinances.

        ...which it doesn't have to because it is a utility.

        Really, his objection is more like "I don't want it there, and I have enough money to hire lawyers so I should be able to get my way".

        I don't really see the connection with fracking though. I suppose if he put his injection wells on his own property, he could perhaps solve the problem by making the ground there too geologically unstable to put a water tower on....

  • "To Stop Fracking"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sigmon (323109) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:53AM (#46323125) Homepage
    Seriously?... Forbes throws up a headline like that and if you RTFA it's all about a freaking municipal water tower... only a single throw-away line about the tower providing water to a nearby drilling operation. That's quite a stretch... What a troll!
    • by amiga3D (567632)

      It's just too juicy to pass up though. Fracking is second only to Global Warming on the high profile flamewar list.

      • by Ex-MislTech (557759) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:30AM (#46323447)

        Well this is in part due to the halliburton loophole allowing them to not list
        8 very nasty and toxic chemicals they are leaking into the water table.

        Watch the film "Gasland" and realize that some of the oil & gas lobby
        has been hired to poo poo the film because it might hurt their business.

        Keep in mind some ppl get royalty checks off oil and gas leases, etc etc
        and they are biased by the money flowing in from it.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Seriously?... Forbes throws up a headline like that and if you RTFA it's all about a freaking municipal water tower... only a single throw-away line about the tower providing water to a nearby drilling operation. That's quite a stretch... What a troll!

      Welcome to Environmentalist Wack-o's view of the world. Any angle that might snag some unsuspecting soul and help further their cause. They do this kind of thing ALL the time.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:56AM (#46323145) Journal
    I think he is fighting for the title for the "Biggest Corporate Jerk". Apparently he showed up for the town hall meeting. Was treated like royalty and was allowed to talk for far longer than the 3 minutes given to mere ordinary citizens of the town. And most of the others spoke about the loss of property values and the damage caused to air and water of the town etc. This jerk mostly talked about how much money he had spent in building his private deck off his home, how he would like to invite guests and how they all would be affected by the hideous water tower spoiling their view while they were enjoying whatever guests to private deck of billionaires enjoy. I am sure it is not WD-40 flavored water or kerosene infused tea or Motor-oil mojitos.

    Still he can't beat "distressed babies" CEO of AOL.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      I'm guessing he's going to loose, so why not let him opine with abandon? After it's all said and done, and the tower goes up, he won't be able to complain he was unfairly treated or not listened to. That he squandered his chance, is all the better..

  • First person account (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:59AM (#46323189) Journal
    It was posted to dailykos, where the liberals congregate and dominate. But still, this is a first person account of an earlier town hall meeting: http://www.dailykos.com/story/... [dailykos.com]
  • NIMB (Score:5, Funny)

    by sociocapitalist (2471722) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:05AM (#46323239)

    Someone should buy this cunt a pizza and coke and tell him to shut the fuck up and stop being such a hypocrite.

  • First, the gun-grabber Dwayne Ferguson gets caught carrying a loaded weapon into an elementary school racking up felony charges which would have been a misdemeanor had he not pushed so hard to upgrade the laws in his state. Now we have a famous fracker who is now fighting his own industry trying to prevent it from happening close to his land. Now we just need some successful eminent domain victims in rich neighborhoods to have their homes destroyed and lands taken so NASCAR can build another loud-assed tr

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Actually, any of the rights can be removed. The constitution is designed to change.

      " Forget about tenets of civilization such as not doing to people that which you wouldn't want done to you. "
      Hardly a tenet of civilization. In fact, the vast majority of civilized history was built on the backs of others.
      Up to and including today,.

  • by Ex-MislTech (557759) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:16AM (#46323337)

    I know some paid shills say the film "gasland" is full of lies, but then tell me
    why some gas companies are trucking water to ppls homes because
    reverse osmosis filtering won't take the toxic horrors out of the water.

    The oil/gas companies have a history of lying and even paying countries
    to kill their citizens.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Here in the US go back to Karen Silkwood, though there have been others
    more recent that were less sloppy in their cover up.

  • by colin_faber (1083673) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:56PM (#46324939)
    It seems this guy could careless about the fracking operation it self. He's more concerned about the huge blight that a massive ugly ass water tower will bring. There's no reason (other than cost) the well owners can't just truck water in. Honestly I don't blame the guy, I wouldn't want this ugly ass water tower in my back yard either, however a well generating millions of dollars of gas for me to spend on more computers? No problem at all.

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