UPDATED: I was there: Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and the Water Tower

Asshole

I was there in Bartonville, Texas with Rex and Dick.

The first time Rex Tillerson and Dick Armey addressed the Town of Bartonville about the water tower whose toxic emissions and activities would trespass onto their property causing health problems, loss of enjoyment of property, water contamination and diminished property value, I was there. It was a night I will never forget and this is how I remember it.

Edit: Upon looking at the minutes from March 15, 2011, I see that Rex did not speak first. I think his presence was so large that, in my memory, it stood out. Also it may have been the Armeys who spoke about their view and such. The surreal-ness of the whole event has meshed it all together in my memory but the general gist of the comments–this industrial infrastructure will harm my property value and the enjoyment of my private property–remain the same. And the gist echoes the comments made that night by Tillerson’s neighbors who were requesting a moratorium on new drilling permits. Everyone wants to preserve their property value and enjoyment of their private property.

The water tower was first up on the agenda and Rex–as I remember it–was the first speaker on the subject. The speech he made at this town council meeting was very different from the highly publicized, threatening speech he made at the more recent town council meeting. This speech was a good old boy to good old boy type of speech in which he described his enjoyment of sitting on the specially-built for entertaining back patio with his favorite beverage and gazing at the lovely view from his property. He and his wife enjoyed visiting the ranch to relax after their hectic work schedule and they liked to have friends over. This proposed water tower whose toxic emissions and activities would trespass onto their property causing health problems, loss of enjoyment of property, water contamination and diminished property value, would ruin all that for him because he would actually see the hideous thing in his view from the specially built patio. Rex spoke at length and unlike everyone else he was not held to the strict three minute limit on public comment.

Bartonville Town Hall was filled to capacity that night with residents who came to urge council to deny the latest in a long string of permits to frack a gas well near their homes whose toxic emissions and activities would trespass onto their property causing health problems, loss of enjoyment of property, water contamination and diminished property value.

Next to me was Michael Knoll, whose former better half is known as Runner Susan. I asked Michael if this was real or a dream. Unfortunately, I cannot print his response because I try to keep this blog family friendly. You see, Rex’s company, Exxon, had swallowed up XTO a company that was drilling and fracking gas wells in the Bartonville area.

Runner Susan enjoyed making videos while writing messages on her specially-built back patio with her water that foamed from the “soap sticks” used in fracking near her water well. She also enjoyed making videos of herself applying a flame to her foaming water and picking out the bits of waxy-plasticky stuff or videoing dying/dead birds after a toxic release from the gas wells that surrounded her home. Other times, Runner Susan might play in the fracking sand that trespassed from the XTO fracking operation all over her property and specially built back patio. XTO operations endlessly provided the intoxicating perfume of diesel for all the neighbors to enjoy.

Unlike Rex, you won’t hear Runner Susan talking about how XTO operations affected the enjoyment of her specially-built patio. A lawsuit was filed because trespass is illegal in Texas. When asked about her experiences, all Runner Susan can say is “the matter is resolved.” She can’t say and I wouldn’t ask, but I’m guess Runner Susan‘s story is trapped inside HERE.

Zoe was there too! She is a beautiful, world class athlete but that night no one wanted to look at Zoe. She looked like a skeleton and her face and body were covered in oozing lesions for which her doctors could find no cause. These lesions cleared up immediately when she abandoned her home near Bartonville and moved to another state and they only return when she comes for a visit to this area. She has gained weight and is now back to competing and winning triathlon competitions. But she is now chemically sensitive and must take special precautions with exposures to all kinds of chemicals and foods.

There were several other families in the room but I won’t disclose any details about them. Two of them are trapped HERE and others have kept details of their suffering mostly private.

After the meeting, there was a scuffle in the parking lot. As I walked to my car I found XTO “Bob” walking beside me. He noticed my new, very short haircut and I explained that this is my combat hair.

Some of the water in the water tower whose toxic emissions and activities would trespass onto their property causing health problems, loss of enjoyment of property, water contamination and diminished property value, Rex is suing to keep away would be used for fracking operations in the Bartonville area where XTO is an operator. The trucks picking up the water would be such a bother to Rex and his family.

AssholeI believe that Rex’s NIMBYISM is prize worthy. And, although he is a previous winner of the #assholeoftheday award, if anyone deserves to be a two-time winner, it’s Rex.

Dear Readers,

If you agree with me that Rex is, again, deserving of this award, please send a tweet to @assholeofday and nominate Rex.

Please go thank @assholeofday

 

 

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.

Comments

  1. says

    I am Zoe Nance.

    And everything about that night Sharon says is true.

    I was skinny alright; I had ‘wasting cow’ disease. That’s what they call the disease the cows get when they can’t keep the weight on when they are subjected to Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing chemicals.

    Every time I see my frack friends they tell me how good I look now that I don’t live on the Shale anymore. When I was in it, I don’t think I really understood. I knew I couldn’t keep my pants up, I knew I was so dizzy I couldn’t close my eyes without falling over, and I always had bleeding oozing lesions.

    I had to quit a few races because of pulmonary distress, and had a couple of nights where I should have called an ambulance for the same reasons.

    Runner Susan was on well water; I was on city water. I too could melt plastic on my water, mine looked like contacts. So it’s true what I say, about Rex drinking, bathing, and feeding his horses the same frack water. Of course, I hold the only test results that validate that, and I have signed no agreement to keep my mouth shut. So I don’t.

    I had to choose death, or leaving it all behind.

    It’s been an interesting journey through it all. There’s certain places I don’t go; there’s certain places I know how I will feel when I am there; and the good news, I know it’s only temporary.

    I didn’t know where our journey would take us: to Austin to fight the fight on the capitol steps, or to Minnesota to fight the injustice of the Frack Sand Mining Industry. It was the latter. It’s not the best place for me to be; for my health, but if everyone across the US knew that hundreds of frack sand cars were traveling the rails without being covered, all that silica sand blowing in the wind, without regulation, there would be protests everywhere and there would be change.

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbV9qFvrSTvbFj8Mwj-Cfxt4OgsufiIPb

    Of course, I’m trying to change all that, trying to keep Americans safe, like I tried to change our drilling ordinances, like I open my heart to tell my story.

    I’ve learned we have to be awake, and alert in this day in age, that we can’t trust our local governments or companies to keep us safe. It’s not about American Citizens’ well being; it’s about maximizing profits, unfortunately. It’s happened in our food, our backyards, our medical prescriptions and even our cancer treatments, I will say, once you wake up, you’re really awake and alert.

    I realize that we need to act locally, think globally. I know that. Many don’t, and I feel that’s an injustice to the cause. Every day I am upset about the separation of the cause. New York and Pennsylvania have made such great head way, and have had such vocal out pours but the people in the Eagle Ford have little to no voice; while California, the worst drought in history hasn’t banned the process yet.

    While our food costs are already going to be high, without the demand of the water and in Texas and New Mexico the frackers are outbidding the farmers for water that is already in short supply and high demand.

    That’s what our world has come to: Fuel over Food.

    Today I can control my bleeding, oozing lesions through controlling my environment, and what foods I eat (not eating foods high in sulfur, garlic and onion), as well as avoiding foods that are preserved with fossil fuels; BHA, BHT and TBHQ and over the counter medicines that contain any one of three forms of propylene glycol (another source of fossil fuels).

    Be awake, because what we don’t know can and will kill us.

      • Fracking Crazy says

        I will admit, I have a tough time thinking that there will be anymore fracking in Bartonville. The ETJ, yes, Argyle, yes, Denton, yes. But Bartonville, doesn’t seem likely?

        What are your thoughts?
        Fracking Crazy recently posted..2014 The Year of the EagleMy Profile

        • says

          If they start export a lot of natural gas, they will frack everywhere in Texas.

          Denton is set to ban fracking. I’ve been blogging about that.

          • Fracking Crazy says

            I am so glad to hear that.

            What we do now, will keep us safe in the future. Assuming in our fight it’s not to late, we don’t give up hope, we stay strong and we unify between the process, the sand mining, the LNG export facilities, the Keystone Pipeline.

            What’s going on with the Bayou? I’m going to have to see how they are doing!

    • Kim Feil says

      Zoe I’ll never forget how I stayed over 5 hours to speak at our Arlington Independent School District meeting to read a letter I found on (if I recall correctly) ABCAlliance dot org from a young girl in your old schoold district begging that her school not allow any more drilling near them.

      • Fracking Crazy says

        Kim, even my youngest daughter wrote the town council. Her rashes, uncontrollable nose bleeds, her erroneous pains, mostly in her legs. It’s so sad. Nice to know we’re all making a difference.

  2. Tim Ruggiero says

    I think we should be thanking Rex. Thank him for finally coming to see the light that drilling and it’s associated processes are destructive. Thank him for unwittingly leading the way on one of the many reasons why drilling near homes is a terrible idea. I hope he wins his lawsuit. Because when he wins, we all win. It’ll be difficult to argue that the simple erection of a water tower devalues property value, but massive toxic fumes, constant semi truck traffic, high decibel screeching at all hours of the day and night, malfunctioning compressors backfiring, spewing diesel exhaust, leaks and spills and the risk of fire and explosion do not. While I and others may not be able to tell our ‘story’, Rex Tillerson, King of The Gasholes, is telling it for us.

      • Tim Ruggiero says

        Great idea….You should contact his attorney-his office is right down there off the square, I think. We should be able to drum up more business for him. Maybe Rexy can tell his ‘story’. I mean, he should tell his story before he has to sign an NDA, don’t you think?

        • Alma Hasse says

          I’ll chip in $.50 towards a water buffalo for poor ‘ole Rex. Anyone else want to chip in? I may even be inclined to offer to video his flaming water when that happens- although I think that Steve Lipsky would be a much better volunteer than me, after all, he’s got all that practice.

          In fact, I think Steve should write a “how-to” guide offering his suggestions for “Living Life to the Fullest With YOUR Water Buffalo” and personally autograph it for Rex. I volunteer to deliver it to Rex and Dickie boy!

          What do you think?

          • Alberta Neighbor says

            I like it, and I’d like to contribute. I’m a bit far, but I have a lead on some pizza and yogurt, and possibly some pop (if they get it back in stock) and a t-shirt – just a little something to take their minds off the “emotional harm,” and get them back on track.

  3. says

    suicide, that is what this industry is doing. for many years now propaganda, lax regulation and plain power has become there norm. if you have a spare 100,00$ or so would this be the place you would invest it (me either). people and property have suffered so much. now people are speaking out, and for every voice heard theres 10 more to come. the history that the oil/gas industry has left behind is now being spoke about. cancer, death, rashes, property destruction, bad air, bad water, and on and on. smart people would not try to make money by investing in such a poor industry. try as the industry may, they can not keep this many people silent. years ago someone would talk and you thought it was a radical or worse, today it is likely your neighbor or worse you. people are now listening, to not listen is to bury your head in the sand. so commit suicide and invest in this dying industry. oops self inflicted dying industry (more suicide). if hurting people, property damage, air and water contamination wasn’t bad enough. wait there may be some good oil companies under the blanket (this industry) but I havnt found them.

    • Dan G says

      fred, but when will these guys be held accountable. They abuse the system as long as possible, lining their pockets all the way, and when it “dries up” for whatever reasons, political or natural, they move on to the next energy source. I suspect that when natural gas becomes an economic liability for them, they will finally have come up with a way to make money off of the technologies they have been suppressing for decades in carbon-less energy. For now, they pay off the victims, require the nda, and move on until the profits dry up. Ughh

  4. Alberta Neighbor says

    Rex and family may just have to cautiously enjoy their back patio and property from now on – no sources of ignition or quick movements – those water towers seem to have a habit of turning into big bombs after companies drill and frac the stuffing out of a community.

    Nothing says sleepless nights like a ticking water tower.

    “Investigators say an accumulation of gases appears to have caused the Jan. 11 explosion that destroyed the Rosebud water reservoir building and sent a Wheatland County employee to hospital with injuries.

    … Tracy Gooler, Wheatland County constable and manager of protective services, said that the county’s water operator, John Garvin, was endeavoring to thaw out an inlet supply line, to the portable water reservoir in Rosebud, with a propane tiger torch at about 2:30 p.m.

    ‘He had done his checks,’ Gooler said, adding that when the match was struck to light the torch, an explosion occurred.

    Gooler said the operator was unable to detect the gases by smell and did not use a detection device. Garvin sustained non-life threatening, but fairly substantial injuries, including two broken wrists and some burns to the face and hands.

    … The reservoir sustained significant damage, including moving the concrete roof 16 inches, and some vertical cracks to the walls.”

    http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/investigators-say-an-accumulation-of-gases-appears-to-have-caused-the-explosion-that-destroyed-the-rosebud-water-tower-and-sent-a-wheatland-county-employee-to-hospital

  5. holly schwieger says

    suicide, that is what this industry is doing. for many years now propaganda, lax regulation and plain power has become there norm. if you have a spare 100,00$ or so would this be the place you would invest it (me either). people and property have suffered so much. now people are speaking out, and for every voice heard theres 10 more to come. the history that the oil/gas industry has left behind is now being spoke about. cancer, death, rashes, property destruction, bad air, bad water, and on and on. smart people would not try to make money by investing in such a poor industry. try as the industry may, they can not keep this many people silent. years ago someone would talk and you thought it was a radical or worse, today it is likely your neighbor or worse you. people are now listening, to not listen is to bury your head in the sand. so commit suicide and invest in this dying industry. oops self inflicted dying industry (more suicide). if hurting people, property damage, air and water contamination wasn’t bad enough. wait there may be some good oil companies under the blanket (this industry) but I havnt found them.

  6. says

    Don’t forget, Some of the water in the water tower whose toxic emissions and activities would trespass onto their property causing health problems, loss of enjoyment of property, water contamination and diminished property value. Great post, by the way. :)

  7. Ross Hart says

    Sharon, why don’t you mention that Tillerson actually HAS a 3 well Barnett shale pad just 1200′ from his front door? That’s even closer than the water tower!
    According to Google earth imagery, the wells have been there since 2007! Why isn’t he dead or dying of cancer 7years later?
    If you look a the most recent imagery for the area, you’ll see that the well pad predates the construction of the water tower by a few years!

    • Alberta Neighbor says

      “Sharon, why don’t you mention that Tillerson actually HAS a 3 well Barnett shale pad just 1200′ from his front door?”

      Reportedly, there’s more than 3 within a mile, but it looks like the last time the Tillersons were frac’d was August 2009 – by a company that was taken out by Tillerson’s Exxon – four months later.

      “That’s even closer than the water tower!”

      So why bother complaining about a little ol’ water tower and the resulting frac truck traffic?

      I think the Tillerson’s just need to suck it up like everyone else is being forced to. Property values fall, people lose their investments, their quality of life hits the skids and they stop enjoying themselves, why should the Tillersons be the exception – it’s just business.

    • Tim Ruggiero says

      It’s not worth mentioning because his lawsuit has nothing to do with the fracking around his mega million dollar mansion or his mega-million adjacent ranch. It does, however, have everything to do with his belief that having to be forced into (Oh, the Horror!) viewing the water tower will simply ruin his enjoyment and property value whilst sitting on his special patio after a long day of ruining thousands of other people’s property values.

      As I mentioned in a previous post, I hope he wins his suit. If Tillerson can win a lawsuit over the anxiety he must be going through over a goddamn water tower, imagine the hundreds-maybe even thousands of lawsuits people can file over compressor stations, tank batteries, dehydration units, waste water impoundments, etc. The irony will be that some of those lawsuits will be filed against him.

      Rex Tillerson, Supreme Asshole For Life of The Known Universe, cannot have it both ways; He cannot object and subsequently sue over a water tower and justify the erection and building of any of the above mentioned structures in OUR backyards.

  8. Alma Hasse says

    It just gets better and better!

    Apparently the folks over at Frack Nation think that Mr. Tillerson lives in a barn!! Now granted, it IS a VERY nice barn (or should I say barns) and I’m quite certain they do have running water (most likely non-flammable because horses get a bit spooky around fire) and indoor plumbing, but I digress…

    Ross Hart, fracking affecinado over at Frack Nation, put up a Google map and made sure to point out that there were THREE Barnett Shale wells within 1,200′ of Rex’s front door. Well, unless Rexie truly does live in a barn, those wellheads are over 4,700′ from Mr. T’s house. I know, I’m a stickler for details…

    Alma

    • Alberta Neighbor says

      What is Ross Hart thinking?

      His friend is suffering “emotional harm,” and the best Ross Hart can do is drum up a game of pin-the-well-on-rex’s-barn-with-a-blindfold-full-of-holes?

      Talk about rubbing salt in a wound.

      It’s a good thing you’re a stickler for details Alma, the Tillerson’s should be most relieved by that information.

  9. Jana says

    Poor Rex Tillerson, he must be broke paying his lawyer and taxes. He purchased his lovely property, formerly known as Stargate in 2001. See below for his tax history courtesy of the Denton County Central Appraisal District, Dentoncad.com,
    Improve Land Market Appraise Assessed
    2013 $866,924 $1,353,525 $2,220,449 $1,346,645 $1,346,645
    2012 $877,706 $1,353,525 $2,231,231 $1,357,427 $1,308,734
    2011 $947,400 $1,353,525 $2,300,925 $1,427,121 $1,208,736
    2010 $946,038 $1,353,525 $2,299,563 $1,425,759 $1,100,000
    2009 $918,903 $1,353,525 $2,272,428 $994,271 $994,271
    2008 $936,964 $1,353,525 $2,290,489 $1,012,419 $1,012,419
    2007 $931,823 $1,353,533 $2,285,356 $1,007,365 $1,007,365
    2006 $1,143,597 $900,650 $2,044,247 $1,206,009 $1,206,009
    2005 $1,140,731 $875,614 $2,016,345 $1,190,275 $1,190,275
    2004 $1,134,710 $875,614 $2,010,324 $2,010,324 $2,010,324
    2003 $1,219,790 $624,743 $1,844,533 $1,844,533 $1,844,533
    2002 $1,066,448 $463,550 $1,529,998 $1,529,998 $1,529,998
    2001 $636,342 $398,210 $1,034,552 $1,034,552 $1,034,552
    Reported sale price was $1.5 million in 2001