POLITICS: PennAve

ExxonMobil chief joins lawsuit against fracking project

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ExxonMobil,PennAve,Energy and Environment,Fracking,Zack Colman,Oil,Natural Gas

ExxonMobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson and Yoko Ono have at least one thing in common -- neither of them want hydraulic fracturing projects in their backyards.

The chief of the world's largest oil and gas company joined a lawsuit to block construction of a water tower used for a hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, project near his suburban Dallas home, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tillerson and others -- including former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, the suit's lead plaintiff -- say they are worried noise pollution and traffic from drilling would reduce property values.

ExxonMobil, for its part, told the Journal that Tillerson joined the lawsuit as a private citizen. The oil giant has defended fracking, which injects a high-pressure cocktail of water, sand and chemicals into tight-rock formations to access hydrocarbons, as safe.

The news provoked responses — some jocular, others less so — from liberals who oppose the drilling method, which they say pollutes drinking water.

“I would like to officially welcome Rex to the ‘Society of Citizens Really Enraged When Encircled by Drilling’ (SCREWED). This select group of everyday citizens has been fighting for years to protect their property values, the health of their local communities, and the environment. We are thrilled to have the CEO of a major international oil and gas corporation join our quickly multiplying ranks," said Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., who withdrew a lawsuit regarding a fracking project near his Weld County ranch in July.

Josh Fox, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Gasland" as well as its sequel, tweeted, "CEO Rex Tillerson has attacked me as a NIMBY [Not in my back yard]. Now he's suing to keep fracking out of his hood."

Fox will join Chris Hayes on his MSNBC show Monday to discuss the lawsuit. The "All In" host tweeted, "This Rex Tillerson/Dick Armey anti-fracking lawsuit is a gift from the news gods."

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