Exxon CEO on Fracking: Not in my Backyard!

Photo (cc) by William Munoz

In what could be hailed the ultimate NIMBY (not in my backyard) move, Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp., has joined his neighbors in a lawsuit to stop construction of a water tower near his home in Texas that would be used in a local fracking project.

Tillerson “is a big fan of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas, unless it’s potentially undermining the property value of his Texas ranch,” The Huffington Post said.

HuffPo said Tillerson and his affluent neighbors, including former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, contend that not only will the water tower diminish neighbors’ property values, it will also create a “noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” as water trucks would need to haul and pump water for fracking operations. The 160-foot water tower, which is already partially built, is located near Tillerson’s Bar RR Ranch and Armey’s property. The tower is being built by Cross Timbers Water Supply.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a controversial technique used by gas and oil companies, including Exxon, to extract difficult-to-reach underground oil and gas reserves by breaking up shale rock with high-pressure blasts of water, sand and chemicals.

The seeming hypocrisy of Tillerson’s move has provided fodder for a number of online opinion pieces. Rick Ungar, senior political contributor at Forbes, recently penned an article on this very topic. “Meet Rex Tillerson, the CEO of oil and gas superstar Exxon Mobil Corp. — the largest natural gas producer in these United States of America — and a newly emerging giant in the world of exquisite hypocrisy,” Ungar wrote.

What are your thoughts on Tillerson joining the lawsuit? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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