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Exxon Sued After Emails Reveal They Misled The Public About Oil Spills

Exxon sued after emails reveal the company misled people about oil spills in Arkansas

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and State Of Arkansas decided last week to sue Exxon after emails revealed the company had misled the public about what was really happening during one of their most recent oil spills.

It was nearly three months ago that Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured in Mayflower, Arkansas spilling hundres of thousands of gallons of diluted bitumen and tar sands oil from Canada into a residential neighborhood.

The oil spill contamination spread to a nearby marsh and eventually contaminated Lake Conway, a popular local fishing spot. These contaminations posed a threat to local residents and were initially played down by the oil company following the spill.

This is despite many residents and local politicians feeling that things were progressing nicely, maybe even getting to a point where things were better than before the spill.

After the emails revealing that Exxon misled the public about the oil spills were released, the DOJ and Arkansas filed a suit that seeks $1,100-$4,300 per barrel discharged and $45,000/day for the illegal storage of contaminated waste removed from the spill site.

Some experts think it’s strange that the two parties have moved to sue Exxon so soon after the contamination. Normally, governments agencies wait much longer – sometimes years – before filing a suit. It’s not sure whether it’s because there is something more sinister at play behind the scenes, or simply because the evidence is so clear-cut against Exxon.

Emails obtained show that the company tried to use factually incorrect information in their press releases following the spill. Reports from Rep. Ed Markey also show that the company used an unapproved emergency response plan in the aftermath of the contamination.

Despite Exxon being sued, some locals are still supportive, even after the revealing emails show that they misled the public following the oil spills.

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11 Responses to “Exxon Sued After Emails Reveal They Misled The Public About Oil Spills”

  1. Leslie Buster von Arnswaldt

    You'd have thought that the government learned their lesson after the Gulf explosion and oil spill…..never trust the oil company's own assessments.

  2. Lara Wahl

    People still supportive? WHen are you going to WAKE UP! I hate this whole "Jobs" poised against Environment Health and Public Safety ploy of a stance. Let's create good SAFE jobs that aren't poisoning the public. Imagine if a terrorist had done this damage. Wake up and smell the poison people. Put the people's safety over big business that stands to destroy us all.

  3. Christian Strachan

    Poor reporting on why the suit was filed so quickly. From pri.org's report: "The law allows citizens to file suits in lieu of the government, if the government won't act, provided they give the government at least 60 days notice.

    "That threatened lawsuit from displaced residents came early, which meant the state and federal government were forced to file suit, or lose the opportunity.

    '"We had 60 days to either resolve our claims or be masters of our own ship and, certainly, I think that the Department of Justice and the State Attorney General’s office have a responsibility to litigate on behalf of the governments of the state and the federal government rather than abdicating that to private lawyers," he said."".

  4. Christian Strachan

    I mean, really, this is such poor prognostication on why the suit is so early. "Some experts think…"… that's as deep as your inquisitiveness goes?

  5. Stephan Luc Larose

    Can big corporations ever be trusted to work in the public interest? Does everybody see why "deregulation" is bad? They're not going to police themselves, they want to "innovate" new ways to rip us off, lie, cheat and steal. That's the problem of capitalism, it elevates greed as the highest order value, which is clearly an insane way to run things. People must demand more transparency and accountability. Shareholders that allow this kind of thing to go one should face serious jail time, no three strikes about it.

  6. Paula Griffin

    This story is alternate news only[small money] so you may have told us more than they know. NBC, FOX do not show up when you look up key words.