Mobil CEO welcomes fracking, but not water tower in his backyard
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[February 27, 2014]
By Marice Richter
DALLAS (Reuters) - It's not every day
that the chief executive of the largest U.S. energy company joins a
lawsuit opposing a new water tower planned in his neighborhood that
could support fracking.
Officials at Exxon Mobil Corp <XOM.N> said on Wednesday that CEO Rex
Tillerson was opposed to the plan not because of fracking but
because the tower would be much taller than what the town had
Tillerson, former Republican heavyweight Dick Armey and other
residents of a ranch-filled suburb of Bartonville north of Dallas
filed suit in 2012 seeking to block construction of the
160-foot-tall (49-meter-tall) water tower, arguing it would be an
The suit, filed in Denton County District Court, also noted that the
tower could encourage the town of Bartonville to sell "water to oil
and gas explorers for fracking shale formations leading to traffic
with heavy trucks... creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards."
"Mr. Tillerson does not object to the tower for its potential use
for water and gas operations for fracking," said Alan Jeffers, a
spokesman for Exxon Mobil.
Tillerson's property is already adjacent to several oil and gas
wells and fracking operations, Jeffers added.
[to top of second column]
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves the injection of water,
sand and chemicals under high pressure into bedrock to allow
extraction of more of oil or gas. Exxon Mobil and other energy
companies say the practice is safe, but many environmental groups
say it can pollute the water table and cause seismic activity.
The tower has sat unfinished for almost a year as an earlier suit
between the town of Bartonville and the water supply company
proceeds through the courts.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by
Scott Malone and David Gregorio)
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