by Max Brantley
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is pressing Exxon Mobil for information on the devastating oil spill in Mayflower. From a release:
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has demanded that Exxon Mobil produce investigative reports, inspection reports and other information connected to the oil company’s Pegasus pipeline rupture and oil spill in Mayflower.
McDaniel gave Exxon an April 10 deadline to comply with the subpoena he issued earlier this week.
“The people of Arkansas deserve a full explanation from Exxon about how this incident occurred and the extent of damages to private property and to our State’s natural resources,” McDaniel said. “My office is determined to get that explanation through our investigation because, at the moment, we still have many more questions than we do answers.”
McDaniel and investigators from his office on Wednesday visited the neighborhood in Mayflower most directly impacted by the spill. While in Mayflower, he expressed his concern about the limited information his office and Arkansans have received so far related to the incident.
Arkansas law gives the Attorney General authority to issue subpoenas when the “interests of State of Arkansas are involved or may become involved,” (Ark. Code Ann. 25-16-705).
The Attorney General’s subpoena demands from Exxon inspection reports and investigative reports, photos, videos, and any other data related to the Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas and the spill; sampling or testing reports, photos, videos and any other data relating to the integrity of the Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas before March 29; maintenance and repair reports, photos, videos and any other data related to the Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas; and all reports, record, photos, videos and other data related to the repair or replacement of the portion of the pipeline in Mayflower that caused, created or contributed to the oil spill.
While we're on this subject:
Isn't it time for local, county and state officials to retake control of the sovereign state of Arkansas from an international oil company? Where does Exxon get off dictating flight rules, media access rules and information access rules on a huge public health hazard? This is not Exxon private property at issue, but public and private property fouled by oil and fumes from a pipeline break that U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin has assured us will never happen if Keystone XL is built to move the same heavy, corrosive sludge from Canada to a Koch Bros. refinery for shipment in finished form to China.
McDaniel has already bridled properly at Exxon's heavy-handed site control. It's time for others to join him.