Exxon Mobil, the company who brought us the disastrous Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska (which they have yet to pay for), and more recently the tar sands oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, were also found to be responsible for the death of 100 melon-headed whales in Madagascar during offshore oil exploration. The company continues to explore for petroleum resources worldwide, often against the wishes of local communities such as the current conflict in South Africa.
“Durban environmental activists have vehemently rejected an application by multi-national energy giant ExxonMobil to explore for oil and gas offshore along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, citing the company’s poor environmental track record as a major concern.” (4 Traders)
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is opposed by many environmental groups because the process is associated with degradation of local water quality and health concerns. The process is described in this brief video:
But apparently more important than the environment, human rights, and ocean life to the CEO of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, is the view from his multi-million dollar property. For that, he demands to be an exception from the consequences of his company’s activities and somewhat bizarrely and hypocritically has joined in a lawsuit to block the construction of a water tower associated with fracking near his ranch.
In shale regions, less wealthy residents have protested fracking development for impacts more consequential than noise, including water contamination and cancer risk. Exxon’s oil and gas operations and the resulting spills not only sinks property values, but the spills have leveled homes and destroyed regions.
Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home.
The Wall Street Journal reports the tower would supply water to a nearby fracking site, and the plaintiffs argue the project would cause too much noise and traffic from hauling the water from the tower to the drilling site. The water tower, owned by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation, “will sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing [sic] shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” the suit says.
Exxon, which pays Tillerson a total $40.3 million, is staying out of the legal tangle. A spokesperson told the WSJ it “has no involvement in the legal matter.” (Think Progress).