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

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 @10:49AM (#46323077)

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

    Exxon MOBIL

  • "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 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 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 [] on this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:17AM (#46323345)

    Reminds me of how the Kennedy family fought against off-shore wind power because it would ruin their view from their vacation home.

  • by Ex-MislTech ( 557759 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:26AM (#46323427)

    Halliburton loophole was created to hide 8 chemicals from publication.

    Samples taken show that there are outlawed chemicals.

    Google "Halliburton Loophole" you troll shill Ahole.

  • Re:misleading (Score:5, Informative)

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

    Here is a copy of the complaint: []
    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.

  • Re:Read the summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:28PM (#46323999)

    So yes it's about fracking....idiot...

    If his lawsuit is about fracking, then SlashDot is about rocket science because it sometimes has articles about NASA.

    His primary complaint is about how the water tower will ruin the view from his deck, the rest of the lawsuit is every other reason he can come up including the kitchen sink for not building the tower in a specific place. It's common in lawsuits to come up with *every* possible reason you can think of, no matter how unlikely, just in the slight chance one of these reasons stick or perhaps scare the defendant into a settlement by the shear volume of the lawsuit and the costs of defending themselves on every single point you bring up.

  • Re:Racist. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:12PM (#46324439) Homepage Journal

    Rightly or wrongly, it's shorthand for "privileged majority".

  • by dywolf ( 2673597 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:21PM (#46324517)

    ya, all those woman who developed cancer, or had their implants burst inside their bodies, sending silicon into various random places or simply making their chests look like golf balls.....they were all faking it.

    thought experiment: lets pump water and chemicals into the ground at high pressure specifically for the purpose of fracturing the rock to release entrapped natural gas. the water slurry even helps push it out by displacing it (ie: flowing into the cracks). the entire process rests on the principle of cracking rocks and having water (with chemicals) flow into said cracks.

    so just where in hell do you think that water goes?

    there's 2 possible answers, both of which are unsatisfactory:
    1) into groundwater tables and acquifers (water bearing layers of rock)
    2) who knows because at the depths and scales we're talking about, no one really knows with certainity how far the newly created fractures lead*, and whether it connects with a acquifer.

    *we do know (regardless of industry claims otherwise) that the fractures are sufficient in size and depth to relieve stresses in the crust triggering earthquakes, so the idea they connect to acquifers is hardly far fetched.

    short version: the only wacky person here is you.
    and don't make fun of Meryl Streep, she's probably the world's greatest living actress.

  • by dwpro ( 520418 ) <dgeller777&gmail,com> on Monday February 24, 2014 @03:42PM (#46326259)

    How do you mean, no such thing? The Act clearly added an exclusion for "The underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities." from being defined as "UNDERGROUND INJECTION", and subject to the corresponding regulation.

  • by liquidsin ( 398151 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @04:09PM (#46326531) Homepage

    Can you point out to me where in the document you link for "Haliburton Loophole" it says that that's a myth? All I see is the Energy Policy Act of 2005; Section 322 of that document indicates that ‘‘(ii) the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.’’ are exempted from the "Underground Injection" provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Additionally the Clean Water Act [] was amended to clarify that "water, gas, or other material which is injected into a well to facilitate production of oil or gas..." are NOT classified as pollutants. These two things together seem to indicate that they can in fact pump whatever they'd like into wells to facilitate oil production, even if it's not labeled specifically as "The Haliburton Loophole". Am I missing something?

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @04:20PM (#46326679)
    Then Forbes lied. They indicate that he joined a more general suit against the frackers once the suit against the water tower failed.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN