Citing a disturbing (and unfortunately expected) lack of public transparency on the part of ExxonMobil in the aftermath of the Yellowstone River oil spill, Montana governor Brian Schweitzer has withdrawn state participation from the command team directing cleanup of the 40,000 gallon pipeline rupture.
Schweitzer said Exxon had restricted reporters, and even some state environmental officials, from joint command sessions in violation of Montana's open-meetings law. He also said the company has been too slow in responding to citizen queries about the spill.
"When Montana citizens call a hotline and Exxon Mobil doesn't get back to them, that's unacceptable," Schweitzer told Reuters by telephone.
Though Federal officials have observed shoreline contamination from the spill 240 miles downstream, Exxon insisted for days that no oil traveled farther than 10-20 miles. Only now, one week after the spill and after days of reports of more widespread oil contamination, Exxon says it has found just two spots of oil beyond 20 miles away.
All of which makes good politics, but I wan't to know what's really prompting the command center pull out.