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Wednesday, 05 March 2014 16:16

A middle-finger salute for the fracking king

Written by  Jim Hightower | Jim Hightower.com

Rex Tillerson is mad. In fact, Fracking Mad.

This 61-year old farmer from Bartonville, Texas is another victim of Big Oil's fracking boom that has invaded people's homes and lives from upstate New York to Southern California.

Polluted air, contaminated water, depleted aquifers, multiple health problems, and even an inexplicable epidemic of earthquakes are a few of the side effects caused by this massively-destructive drilling process.

But the frackers hadn't counted on Rex getting mad, speaking out, and suing the bastards. What ticked off Tillerson was the erection of a 160-foot-tall water tower built by a company that can provide millions of gallons of water for fracking gas wells. But Rex is no environmentalist, so his objection is not to the waste and contamination of people's water, nor does he object at all to fracking. Rather, he's hopping mad because the 15-story tower stands above the tree line on his 83-acre, $5-million horse farm, spoiling his view.

Tillerson, you see, is not just some local dirt farmer. He says he and his wife moved here to have a weekend getaway so they can enjoy the rural lifestyle. He's not a farmer, at all – unless you count "farming the government" and harvesting billions of dollars in special tax breaks and subsidies. Rex (whose name means "king" in Latin), is the $40-million-a-year CEO of Exxon Mobil. Now, guess which oil giant is the biggest fracker in the USA. Right? Exxon Mobil.

So what we have here is a case of "phallic justice" – an upright, cylindrical water tower that's part of the fracking infrastructure, symbolically extending the middle-finger salute to Exxon's CEO every time he visits his horsey farm. How fitting that a guy who’s gained a personal fortune from the ugliness of fracking now has some of that ugliness right in his face.

"Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson gets 15 percent raise to $40.3 million," www.dallasnews.com, April 12, 2013.

"Exxon CEO Joins Suit Citing Fracking Concerns," www.wsj.com, February 20, 2014.

"Colorado Becomes First State to Regulate Methane Emissions From Fracking," www.alternet.org, February 25, 2014.

"Water tower suit involving Exxon's CEO prompts a fracking fracas," www.star-telegram.com, February 24, 2014.

"Exxon CEO Comes Out Against Fracking Project Because It Will Affect His Property Values," www.thinkprogress.org, February 21, 2014.

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    If government and big business representatives from 12 countries spend years negotiating a massive new trade bill but don't tell the general public about it, does it still go into effect? Can it still accelerate the flow of American jobs to countries that have abysmal records on human rights and labor rights, countries like Vietnam? Can it still spur a race to the bottom where Americans forfeit their moral, environmental and employment standards for larger trade deficits of cheap imported goods and minimum wage employment at home?

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