Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who bought his house with money made from oil drilling and fracking, filed a lawsuit and petitioned his Texas town council to block a water tower that would be used for fracking. Tillerson just vaulted so far into the lead for Least Self-Aware Person of 2014 that by the time December rolls around he'll still be up 45 million laps.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
He and his neighbors had filed suit to block the tower, saying it is illegal and would create "a noise nuisance and traffic hazards," in part because it would provide water for use in hydraulic fracturing.
Also known as "fracking," which the Journal notes drily is "a core part of Exxon's business."
It gets better. In the petition filed by Tillerson and his neighbors (which places the value of Tillerson's home/horse ranch north of $5 million, or one-eighth of his 2013 salary), they also worry about the negative side effects of the drilling operation.
(We included the part about the birds mostly in case you were wondering how lawyers referred to bird feces.)
It doesn't get much more not-in-my-backyard than "I make tens of millions of dollars a year running a company that creates noise nuisances and traffic hazards that I insist be located nowhere near my home." The Journal does point out that there are other fracking operations near Tillerson's house, including one run by a company that Exxon just bought. But they're not bird-dropping close, apparently.
Tillerson's complained about fracking in the past. In 2012, he lamented that the rapid expansion of natural gas fracking, particularly over the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana, created a natural gas glut that was hurting profits. (Exxon's 2012 profits were "just shy of breaking global record.")
It's not yet clear how this affront to Tillerson's lifestyle will be resolved. But it's not like he's just one powerless man, railing against the system. The lead plaintiff in the case is none other than Richard K. Armey, also known as Dick Armey, former House majority leader. Just two average Joes, fighting the system they control.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.