In response to mounting pressure from lawmakers and citizens that Exxon reveal the cause of the Pegasus Pipeline rupture which spilt 210,000 gallons of oil in Mayflower, Exxon’s Aaron Stryck called a press conference this morning and took questions from U.S. Representative Tim Griffin, U.S. Senator John Boozman and U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, among others.
Stryck began, “I’ve called you here today to transparently explain that Exxon will not be releasing the full report about the Pegasus rupture. Thank you all for coming. I’ll be happy to answer questions.”
Senator Pryor began. “Why won’t you release the full report?”
Stryck deflected the question by claiming that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is in charge of deciding what information is released, not Exxon.”
“But I just called PHMSA and they said you told them not to release it,” Pryor countered.
“Well, yea,” Stryck admitted, “the report contains…proprietary information. If just anybody had access to that people might use it to try to make better pipelines. That’s not fair. That’s not America.”
At the word “America” some individuals peppered through the audience wearing Exxon t-shirts issued a single, eerie, uniform clap.
Senator Boozman raised his hand, and when called upon by Exxon’s Stryck, he asked, “What brings Mayflowers?”
“On behalf of Exxon,” Stryck said, “April showers bring Mayflowers.”
Satisfied, Boozman handed his microphone to U.S. Representative Tim Griffin.
“Thanks to my sweet Karl Rove connections, I know that the rupture was caused by a defect in the Pegasus pipeline,” Griffin challenged.
In defense, Stryck said it was not Exxon’s fault that some manufacturer in the 1940s that no longer exists did a bad job welding some pipes.
Pryor chimed in, “but it’s the same defective pipe that travels through the Lake Maumelle watershed, the primary water source for 90% of Pulaski County. “
As Stryck thumbed through notes, Griffin pointed out that reports show Exxon knew about the defect in the pipeline in 1989.
Exxon’s Stryck explained that other factors come into play, like surface trauma and that there was a lot going on back in 1989.
“Like what?” asked Senator Boozman with the wonder of a child.
“Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, for example. That’s a lot of surface trauma right there,” Stryck answered.
Following a brief PowerPoint showcasing pictures of new sod, Stryck concluded the press conference.