Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson Cries NIMBY and Sues the Frackers

Rex Tillerson is the chairman, president, and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Under Tillerson’s leadership Exxon acquired XTO Energy, making Exxon the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S.

Go ahead, look it up.  I’ll wait.  And here is some “About” text from the XTO web site you can confirm:

XTO Energy Inc. was founded in 1986 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Safely and responsibly extracting natural gas from U.S. shale and other tight formations is our principal business. We also produce crude oil and natural gas liquids in the United States.

We’re the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves, and we have one of the highest drilling success rates in the industry.

We operate throughout the United States, from the Great Plains to Appalachia. You’ll find us in places such as Montana and Pennsylvania, Utah and Louisiana, and Texas and Ohio. We own interests in approximately 40,000 producing oil and natural gas wells across the country.

XTO Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corporation merged in 2010.

In March 2013, Rex and his wife, in conjunction with five other well-to-do neighboring couples from Bartonville, Texas, filed a lawsuit.  According to petition No. 2012-30982-211 filed in the district court of Denton County, Texas, Rex and Renda live on their Bartonville ranch, named Bar RR Ranches, LLC, which has a fair market value in excess of $5 million.


Why? The plaintiffs wish to enjoin the water company from building a 750,000 gallon water tower that “will loom over the Plaintiffs properties at a height of 160 feet – the equivalent of a 16 story building.” And furthermore, the plaintiffs claim the water company intends to “sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”

We certainly are sympathetic to the Tillersons’ and their neighbors’ fears, honest American citizens, Texans moreover, with ordinary sensibilities wishing to simply live their lives in peace, quite, and good health in their own homes/ranches. Or as they most eloquently put it:

4.04 Plaintiffs have been and will continue to be damaged and injured by Defendants’ conduct unless Defendants are restrained and enjoined, and they have no legal remedy sufficient to protect their interests because even though the damages might compensate them for their diminished property values, damages cannot compensate fully for the substantial interference with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their land by causing unreasonable discomfort and annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities, and damages cannot fully compensate plaintiffs for the emotional harm they have sustained from the deprivation of the enjoyment of their property because of fear, apprehension, offense, loss of peace of mind, visual blight or other similar acts or circumstances.

Here is the clause in their suit that sums up the nasty intentions of the water company and the uncivilized, disruptive behavior of the fracking oil and gas explorers:

6.04. The construction of the water tower will create a constant and unbearable nuisance to those that live next to it. A water tower will have lights on at all hours of the night, traffic to and from the tower at unknown and unreasonable hours, noise from mechanical and electrical equipment needed to maintain and, operate the water tower, and creates and unsafe and attractive nuisance to the children of the area. Furthermore, water towers can create an attractive nesting spot for invasive species of bird and other animals. These animals will befoul Plaintiffs properties if the water tower is left to stand. Further, upon information and belief, BWSC will lease or sell rights to third parties for the location of antennas and cell towers. Furthermore, upon information and belief, BWSC will sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.

We thank Rex Tillerson, his wife and their neighbors, for clearly spelling out several of the egregious insults that hydrofracking inflicts upon our lives, health, and welfare.  We hate to say we told you so, but we told you so.  At last we have someone on our side with a little clout.

Further reading:

Lawsuit Transcript

The Dallas Observer: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is Suing to Stop a Fracking Development Outside Dallas

Houston Business Journal: Exxon CEO fighting water tower near his house out of fracking concerns

The Wall Street Journal: Exxon CEO Joins Suit Citing Fracking ConcernsXTO


XTO Energy, Inc. Settlement

The Weather Channel: Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale — Big Oil and Bad Air on the Texas Prairie

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