Tester: Exxon should pay for Yellowstone River spill with profits

Senator tells CEO taxpayers should not be liable for recovery, cost of oil cleanup

(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today asked the CEO of ExxonMobil to pay for the entire cost of cleanup and recovery after its crude oil spill in the Yellowstone River this weekend.

During a phone call, Tester told Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson that his company should do the responsible thing by completely cleaning up the oil spill on Exxon’s dime and not on the taxpayer’s dime.

ExxonMobil earned nearly $11 billion in profit in just three months earlier this year–69 percent more than the same period last year.

“Exxon is an important part of Montana’s economy that puts good people to work developing our region’s critical natural resources,” Tester said, noting that local workers shut off the oil pipeline only minutes after it burst under the Yellowstone River Friday.  “Exxon has responded to this accident quickly and effectively.  But as taxpayers and customers, we have done our part.  Exxon has the means to fully absorb the cost of cleanup and recovery without squeezing Montana taxpayers or hurting local refinery jobs, and it should.”

Tester said that until he receives a clear commitment from ExxonMobil to pay for its cleanup, he will continue pushing the corporation to be a “good neighbor and a responsible partner.”

Tester today directed his staff to attend an oil spill briefing on his behalf because he was attending to work at the Senate.