ExxonMobil said Lisa Song would be charged with criminal trespass if she didn’t leave the command center where federal authorities are working.
InsideClimate News reporter Lisa Song was threatened with arrest on Wednesday after she entered the command center for the cleanup operation in Mayflower, Ark., where a major oil pipeline spill occurred on Friday.
Song went to the command center in hopes of reaching representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. She had been told they were working out of the command center, but had been unable to get their names or contact information despite multiple requests to the agencies.
Thousands of barrels of oil from Alberta's tar sands region—similar to the diluted bitumen that would flow through the controversial Keystone XL project—spilled into a residential neighborhood from a pipeline owned by ExxonMobil, forcing the evacuation of 22 homes. Those families are now being housed in hotels at Exxon's expense.
Song had tried to enter the command compound on Tuesday, but was turned away by a security guard. On Wednesday, however, a different guard was on duty and he waved her through the gate. Inside, a second person directed her to the warehouse that houses the command center.
Inside the building, Song went to a table with a sign that said "public affairs," where she was given the name and contact information for Austin Vela, the EPA spokesman at the site. Before she could get the name of a DOT representative, however, Exxon spokeswoman Kim Jordan spotted Song and told her to leave. A second person arrived and said, "You've been asked by security to leave. If you don't you'll be arrested for criminal trespass."
Song left the compound.
InsideClimate News lodged complaints with the EPA and with officials at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the division of the DOT that regulates interstate pipelines. More
Look closely at the photograph - ExxonMobil Emergency Response Strike Team? This is more proof of who actually runs the United States. Editor