Allow Reporters to Cover Arkansas Oil Spill

Target: Rex W. Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobile

Goal: Allow reporters to cover the ExxonMobile oil spill in Arkansas

According to Mother Jones, ExxonMobile is not allowing reporters to cover the recent oil spill in Arkansas. The spill occurred at the ExxonMobile Pegasus pipeline in the Arkansas town of Mayflower. An Exxon official told one reporter seeking an interview with Environmental Protection Agency officials that she would be arrested for trespassing. Other reporters have given similar accounts of being threatened with arrest. A group of reporters who attended the spill site with the Arkansas state Attorney General claim police yelled at them and would not let them leave designated areas. Police then told all of the reporters and media representatives that they had to leave immediately or face arrest at ExxonMobile’s request.

The oil spill has been a major news story, as it polluted private and public land in Mayflower. Nineteen thousand barrels of oil have already been cleaned up at the spill site. Exxon officials are understandably chagrined by the situation. Nonetheless, reporters should not be denied access to the story. As oil executives know, this is exactly the type of circumstance that affects decisions regarding higher-profile pipelines, like the Keystone XL line. The American public needs to know the risks involved with building pipelines, that they are not completely foolproof, and when faulty, they can destroy the environment. Conversely, an honest company would not be afraid to let reporters tell the story. Urge officials to allow reporters access to the ExxonMobile Arkansas spill site.


Dear Mr. Tillerson,

The recent ExxonMobile oil spill in Arkansas has garnered much media attention throughout the country, especially since it occurred simultaneously with national debates over the Keystone XL pipeline and its environmental safety. As an oil executive, it is your job to protect your vested interests in existing infrastructure and future opportunities. However, it is the duty of the press to report on issues of environmental safety, especially when they concern large corporations such as ExxonMobile, from whom many Americans purchase fuel.

As an honest and straightforward business executive, you must allow the press to do its job and report on the recent oil spill in Arkansas. It will help neither the reputation of your company nor the people of Arkansas affected by the spill if reporters are repeatedly refused access to the spill site by ExxonMobile officials. Please allow reporters to cover the Arkansas oil spill openly.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: arbyreed via Fotopedia

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