“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.”
Congressman Jared Polis, (D Colorado) regarding Rex Tillerson’s new-found disdain for Fracking
NIMBY is a phrase that came about in the 1980s. It stands for NOT IN MY BACK YARD. I first heard it when playing Sim City. In the game you portrayed the mayor of a city. Your goal is to grow the population. This is accomplished by balancing resources where citizens can live, work, shop and have fun. It requires a lot of juggling. One of the challenges is that citizens want a short commute to work but they don’t want industry too close to their homes. This is very much like real people. You want industry, just not too close to where you live. Industry is great but Not In My Back Yard.
This is, of course a very real syndrome. It’s perfectly natural to want the best of both worlds. It doesn’t always work out that way.
The way this has played out in relation to Fracking in the United States over the last 10 years or so is not remarkable. Those businesses that have commercial interests in increased fracking have a specific plan. Mega oil companies, for example continuously look to find areas where they can construct wells and supporting equipment.
In a great many cases the residents that are affected, lobby government and in some cases sue the company to stop the project. The adversaries in the suits are typically a small group of citizens Vs the richest companies on Earth.
Among the general population, there are many who adamantly support the idea fracking. More often than not, those that support it, do not live in or near a proposed site. “Fracking is great – but NIMBY”
Fracking requires very large quantities of water. Recently there has been a discussion about one specific proposed water storage facility. The unsightly facility lowers property values for homes near the values. In addition, the high volume of water pumped into the facilities greatly reduces the capacity of water for the community. The oil companies continue to fight to build these disregarding the property values of the local homeowners.
The interesting thing about this one particular facility is that it is being built very near the neighborhood of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. He, along with other homeowners are suing the local water company. They claim that promises were made when they bought their homes.They were assured that there would be no industrial facilities built in the area.
“The construction of the water tower will create a constant and unbearable nuisance to those that live next to it. A water tower will have lights on at all hours of the night; traffic to and from the tower at unknown and unreasonable hours, noise from mechanical and electrical equipment needed to maintain and operate the water tower, and creates an unsafe and unattractive nuisance to the children in the area.
Furthermore, water towers can create an attractive nesting spot for invasive species of bird and other animals. These animals will befoul plaintiffs properties if the water tower is left to stand. Further, upon information and belief, BWSC (Bartonville Water Supply Company) will lease or sell rights to third parties for the location of antennas and cell towers”
They go on to say that selling water to oil and gas explorers for fracking shale formations will “lead to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”
One co-plaintiff of Tillerson is the former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Dick Armey. In addition to his former office, Armey was, for some time, a Congressional Lobbyist for Koch Industries. Koch isone of the largest oil and gas companies. The Koch brothers, spend very significant amounts of money lobbying Congress to make the future growth of Fracking as smooth as possible.
We certainly do sympathize with both Armey and Tillerson. The prospect of their multi-million dollar homes losing a big portion of their value is certainly something you would wish on no one who owns a home. If, however, your home is worth a few hundred thousand dollars, Armey and Tillerson don’t express any concern about your property value.
Fracking is good for the United States – as long as it’s in other people’s back yards – not in the backyards of oil company executives and lobbyists.