The Ultimate Not In His Backyard: CEO of ExxonMobil, Biggest Owner of and Cheerleader For Fracking, Joins Lawsuit Against Fracking Tower Near His Ranch

Abby Zimet

In what has been dubbed an act of "exquisite hypocrisy," Rex Tillerson, the $40.3-million-a-year head of ExxonMobil - former oil giant and current biggest natural gas producer in the U.S. with 2011 reported sales of $486 billion, half of which, thanks to Tillerson's efforts and acquisitions, is now in natural gas - has joined a lawsuit against a 160-foot water tower "monstrosity" being built near his $5 million Bartonville horse ranch for a fracking site that, the suit argues, will produce noise, truck traffic, aesthetic damage and other "unreasonable discomfort and annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities," and never mind the water contamination, cancer and infertility risks and other unknown health hazards, where he's clearly, wisely not even going. Tillerson has long touted natural gas as "the next big resource opportunity for us," triumphantly citing the world's "voracious appetite for energy" and noting "thank God we can do this." He has likewise angrily dismissed the "dysfunctional regulation (that) is holding back the American economic recovery, growth and global competitiveness," dissing critics and arguing the risks of fracking are "very manageable," at least when it's not in his ritzy neighborhood, where it "would create a constant and unbearable nuisance to those that live next to it” and where, he told a town meeting, he and his wife have invested many millions of hard-fracked dollars in order to enjoy a peaceful rural life safe from the kind of carnage that his company has inflicted on Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and God knows where else. Still, even if he loses, Tillerson has the consolation of being invited to join SCREWED, the "Society of Citizens Really Enraged When Encircled by Drilling," a self-described "select group of everyday citizens (that) has been fighting for years to protect their property values, the health of their local communities, and the environment." So, new best friends.

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