Spill Politics: Rehberg Plays the Bigger Man

Aaron Flint posted on July 13, 2011 19:12 :: 1184 Views

Most of us know that these Congressional hearings and floor speeches are often used by members of both parties to merely grandstand for public attention back home.  And given the cattiness out of the press offices of Montana’s Democratic US Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester to attempt to exclude Montana’s lone member of the US House at every turn, I have to say, I was surprised to see this news in my email inbox:  

The Subcommittee, responding to Rehberg’s request, invited Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester to participate in the hearing.  Senator Jon Tester has accepted the invitation and will participate.

The hearing begins at 8 am MDT time (10 am EDT) will be Webcast online.  You can see the witnesses and watch the hearing live by visiting: http://transportation.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1348

That was a statement from Congressman Denny Rehberg’s office in advance of a US House hearing looking into the Yellowstone River oil spill.  The hearing was requested by Rehberg. 

When I relatively briefly worked on Capitol Hill, it seemed politics was put aside in order to accomplish the common good for the State of Montana.  It wasn’t a rare occasion to see letters signed by all three members of Montana’s Congressional delegation- Democrat or Republican.  Good on Congressman Rehberg for doing just that in this case.  Now, will Montana’s Senators follow suit down the road?

Meanwhile, Senator Max Baucus- in a prepared statement- says he secured a commitment from Exxon Mobil that they will not lay off any workers in Montana as a result of the oil spill. 

Baucus called on the company this week to ensure refinery workers do not suffer because the plant is now forced to operate at limited capacity. 

“As we work to restore the Yellowstone River and make landowners and businesses whole, we’ve also got to make sure families continue to get the paychecks they rely on to pay the bills and make ends meet,” said Baucus. “ExxonMobil is an important member of the Billings and Lockwood communities and its commitment to the workers and families who live there is important both for our recovery and our long-term economic growth.” 


Bloomberg: Exxon Earnings Not Likely to Be Impacted

Exxon Mobil, whose ruptured Silvertip pipeline in Montana poured as much as 1,000 barrels of crude into the Yellowstone River, is unlikely to see earnings fall as a result of the spill, analysts say.

Exxon may be spending about $750,000 (Dh2.7 million) a day on a cleanup effort that includes more than 500 people, said Richard Boes, a case management specialist with the US.Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Centre.

It was set up to manage the government’s spill response costs, which Exxon will reimburse.


Cleanup crews are finding more oil-fouled sections along the Yellowstone River as floodwaters recede after an Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline failure, but officials said Monday that the extent of pollution did not appear to be growing.

No significant contamination has been found beyond an isolated spot 70 miles downstream of the July 1 pipeline spill near Laurel.

“The number of sites is going to increase dramatically as we get access to the river,” Merritt said. “But it’s not getting bigger. Dissipation (of oil) over the length of the river has reduced impacts as you get farther and farther from the spill site.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *