Texas Business Report: It’s Expensive to Die in Houston

Houston has some of highest funeral costs, Tesla Motors wants to sell electric cars directly to customers, J.C. Penney's embattled CEO was fired, and more.
Fri April 12, 2013 4:00 pm

I Put a Spill on You
As ExxonMobil continues its efforts to contain the damage caused by the March 29 rupture of its pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, the company is now facing a lawsuit from the town’s residents. The homeowners filed the class-action suit late last week, seeking $5 million in damages, CNN reports.

Irving-based Exxon has pledged to cover all cleanup costs, estimating the spill released between 3,500 and 5,000 barrels of crude oil. However, the Mayflower lawsuit puts the figure at 19,000 barrels, referring to the accident as “the worst crude oil and tar sands spill in Arkansas history.”

The Bottom Line: In addition to the environmental clean-up effort, Exxon is also struggling to contain bad press. Mother Jones reported on the company’s attempts to use local law enforcement to keep reporters away from the spill. Meanwhile, Exxon’s problems also extended into the realm of social media: A parody Twitter account called @ExxonCares has been tweeting satirical media advisories for the last few weeks (now back online after being briefly suspended on Monday, presumably for impersonating company officials).

Ron Swan Song
J.C. Penney finally axed its embattled CEO Ron Johnson on Monday, following a year-long financial collapse that began shortly after he came on board. He will be replaced by his predecessor, former CEO Mike Ullman, and will take with him a severance package worth about $150,000, The Dallas Business Journal reports.

A retail consultant quoted by the newspaper called Johnson’s tenure “one of the

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