Exxon Fails to Get Crews Out Today

by jhwygir

For up-to-the-moment news from an affected landowner, please read Alexis Bonogofsky’s twitter timeline.

Of greatest interest today, she reports that Exxon did not send out their specialized crews today.

Nice, huh?

While MSNBC reports that Exxon officials are now saying the spill could extend beyond the 10 miles they’ve originally reported.

You don’t say? And I’m loving those qualifiers (could? Really? We’re in flood!)

Please take notice of the wildlife photos on that MSNBC story.

On that note, Ms. Bonogofsky, ranch owner of Blue Creek Farms has also reported on the immediate loss of wildlife from her Yellowstone River ranch.

I cry for her loss. It is heartbreaking to hear of this devastation. I wish there was something I could do.

Watch Mike Scott, who is co-owner with Alexis of Blue Creek farms, question Exxon in this KTVQ-NBC Billings report and video.

And again – on that note – ranch owners Alexis and Mike were kicked out of the press conference and public officials did nothing to stop this banishment.

The agriculture industry is being ruined down there along the Yellowstone and public officials are allowing Exxon to clean up their image by keeping affected landowners out of press conferences? Shame to any and all who escorted Alexis and Mike out of that press conference.

  1. exxon is obviously unconcerned. they will get a slap on the wrist from someone to make it look good after the news cycle dies out. they will throw some cash around to silence the critics. and then they will return to business as usual.

    we probably will never be able to actually figure out what damage 40,000 gals of crude oil is doing to the yellowstone river ecosystem. and i am sure they will appoint some professional gatekeeper to vet the farmers affected damages and distribute the minimum in exchange for signing further liability waivers.

    after the corporate apologists and flaks finish with their initial attack the lawyers with the settlement checks will be sent in enmasse to mop it up.

  2. Antidote guy

    Again, this is moral superiority trolling. It was an accident. They are trying to clean it up, but it’s really messy, so they are trying at once to do the right thing and at the same time do some other kinds of damage control. What’s news about this?

    • Trolling? Pot. Kettle. Black.

      Moral superiority my arse. Exxon has a shit safety record. This particular pipeline was shut down twice in the last year over safety concerns from federal regulators.

      They temporarily shut this line down in May due to concerns over scrubbing of the riverbed because of the historic high water.

      They decided to ‘start ‘er back up’ because it had a record of being safe.

      Wow. 747’s have a great safety record. They still crash. Here was a situation with historic flooding on a river that has pipelines running through this (media? Are you paying attention? Because we got all kinds of piplines crossing our waterways including here in Missoula County.)

      And under that situation of historic levels, they opened it back up.

      Anyone catch on any of the numerous video reports out there? Massive Cottonwoods tearing down the Yellowstone in the background of the screen shots? Big old 75 foot trees, roots and all? No danger there – NOT.

      Why didn’t Exxon shut ‘er down? Because snow pack was so high and flooding was going to continue for at least another two months and Exxon didn’t want to lose the $.

      And if I hear one more news report cite how Exxon is a good neighbor “because they employ hundreds of people,” I am going to scream.

      Pimps employ people. So do crack dealers and porn shops and strip clubs. Are they good neighbors?

      The creation of jobs does not a good neighbor make. Abiding by laws and regulations and taking steps to ensure you don’t screw over your neighbors (and the citizens of Montana) is being a good neighbor.

      Something Exxon does not know.

      Here’s to your moral superiority.

      • Dem Antidote

        This is not worthy … I know the shortcomings of Exxon quite well, but it is pointless to take a small accident like this and try to make a major scandal out of it.

        With any accident, whether it is the Space Shuttle blowing up or Three Mile Island, you can always look backward and reconstruct events and create demons. But I doubt very much that if you were involved in any of the events that led to the accident that you would have been able to predict the outcome. It’s way too easy, what you are doing.

        I think you are at cross-angles with yourself, on one hand trying to demonize people for an unpredictable event (no one wants an oil spill) while at the same time being opposed to Exxon because it is big and powerful. It is true that corporations have gotten out of hand and need to be reined in. But it is also true that human beings are subject to human mistakes. My using the latter situation to eviscerate Exxon is counterproductive. Best thing to do is say “Oops” and clean it up. The demons are working on bigger projects than a tiny refinery in Billings, Montana.

  3. Ingemar Johansson

    Unions don’t work on holidays.

    • Dem Antidote

      Make you a deal, Swede: We’ll do away with the right to form a union if you’ll do away with the right to form a corporation. What is a corporations, after all, if not a union for investors?

      • Ingemar Johansson

        If unions weren’t the whipping boy right now, about to get their devil’s due, I’d take that deal.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Well, maybe I spoke to soon.

          No deal.

          The Kaukauna School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it’s all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

          In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they’ll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen.

          • Dem Antidote

            Hey swede – I answered this but it popped up way down below so it looks like a non sequitur. Ergo, you’ll find it right away.

  4. It sure was the worst possible time to have a problem like this – the Yellowstone is about as high and fast as I’ve ever seen it.

  5. Mark- what’s the going rate for being a corporate apologist/flak?

    Do they pay by the word or by the lie?

    • Dem Antidote

      Are you so dogmatic that you cannot distinguish between unintentional behavior that is unpredictable and almost certain to happen on occasion, and true corporate malfeasance? This is not a big deal. Best thing to do is clean it up and move ahead.

  6. Dem Antidote = Mark T?

    • yes. also antidote guy.

      • Thanks, I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with all his alter egos.

        • Dem Antidote

          KK – after I handed you your hat down below, Jesse Homs was blocked. J-girl didn’t like that I manhandled you, poor boy.

          I am M-a-r-k T-o-k-a-r-s-k-i. If I could use that name here, I would, but everyone knows my style of writing and attitudes about Democrats, so it’s not like I’m a secret. .

  7. Why don’t we have the names of the public officials? Seems like we should know who it is that’s doing such a poor job of representing their constituents.

    • Which public officials are you referring to, Cheryl? The ones that allow Exxon and other companies to rape our system without paying taxes or the ones that are turning a blind eye to the damage these companies are doing?

  8. interested party

    ok, now wait a minute: you guys take on sen. tester with impunity and claim dissent, yet block unpleasant visitors in the same breath? i just came from mark’s blog and am having problems posting, this is my seventh try.

    mark is an opportunity, not a problem. we can’t change him.

    if we can’t defend our own piles, we have no right to guide Montanans to the polls to decide how much oversight is enough while Rep. Rehberg votes to defund the peoples’ defense against the dark arts.

    good post, jgirl.

    • Dem Antidote

      Are you saying you could not post at my blog? I think not, but I’ll check the baskets to see if anythiing was waylaid. I have only ever blocked one person, and not for content, but rather volume. Sometimes excessive links or even apparent moodiness of the filter causes some comments to etherize.

      • interested party

        i was there then couldn’t post here. deleted my cookies and posted with my blog name.

        why are you so goddam jaded, toke?

  9. Dem Antidote

    Math doesn’t work, but I’ll let that slide. There is unrelenting downward pressure on wages throughout the economy,
    “speed-up” pressure on those who do have jobs. Heath care costs continue to spiral due to the private insurance system and America’s bad eating habits. The private sector has taken a beating. Executive salaries are up over 20% as jobs are being created … In China.

    The public sector has not done particurlary well, but still had reasonable health and pension deals. So rather than lifting all the boats in the harbor, the right wing went after teachers and public employee unions. I think that Churchill called it the equal distribution of misery – the main advantage of capitalism.

    I’ll tell you something Swede – I have never, ever known a teacher who went into that profession for the money. Quite the opposite. Maybe you can’t grasp tha aspect of humanity, but your attitude towards them, like the attck dog who snarls on command, is despicable.

    • Ingemar Johansson

      Math doesn’t work cause a lot of dead weight quit. Replacements are cheap.

      Teachers priorities aren’t wages.

      Bennies are another matter.

      • Dem Antidote

        Yeah. Private sector is losing benefits. Why should public sector have them? Gotta lower all the boats in the harbor, spread that misery around.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Why is that, Mark?

          Here’s some questions to ponder.

          Pick a year. Like, for example, 1975. Would you say government has become more involved or less involved in the administration of medical care since 1975?

          Wow, that was easy. Okay. Would you say medical services have become more customer-oriented, or less customer-oriented, since 1975?
          How about cost? Would you get slapped with bill for two thousand bucks after having your hand stitched up in the emergency room — in 1975?
          So, government has gotten much more involved. Customer service is down, screw-ups are routine and expected, costs are soaring out of sight.

          • fail to see what this has to do with exxon BS….

            but i will quote a portion of your comment above since it applies very well for virtually every big oil corporation on the planet which has enjoyed little or no government interference thanks to cheney deregulation. you tell me if your words apply…..

            ” Customer service is down, screw-ups are routine and expected, costs are soaring out of sight.”

          • JC

            Ditto pb’s disclaimer of being off topic. that being said, you picked the wrong year as an example. How about 1973 when Nixon signed the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973?

            Seems he had this to say in the lead up to passing and signing the HMO Act:

            Ehrlichman: “And, uh, uh, [the vice president] is the one holdout that we have in the whole office.”

            President Nixon: “Say that I … I … I’d tell him I have doubts about it, but I think that it’s, uh, now let me ask you, now you give me your judgment. You know I’m not too keen on any of these damn medical programs.”

            Ehrlichman: “This, uh, let me, let me tell you how I am …”

            President Nixon: [Unclear.]

            Ehrlichman: “This … this is a …”

            President Nixon: “I don’t [unclear] …”

            Ehrlichman: “… private enterprise one.”

            President Nixon: “Well, that appeals to me.”

            Ehrlichman: “Edgar Kaiser is running his Permanente deal for profit. And the reason that he can … the reason he can do it … I had Edgar Kaiser come in … talk to me about this and I went into it in some depth. All the incentives are toward less medical care, because …”

            President Nixon: [Unclear.]

            Ehrlichman: “… the less care they give them, the more money they make.”

            President Nixon: “Fine.” [Unclear.]

            Ehrlichman: [Unclear] “… and the incentives run the right way.”

            President Nixon: “Not bad.””

            “Less care, more [profit]”. “Fine… Not bad”

            Them’s your boys BS. That’s where the downfall of the American health insurance system began.

            • Ingemar Johansson

              My comment wasn’t meant to address the post’s subject. It was a direct response to Mark T.

              But that’s fine, avoid the question(s) and dig up party politics to deflect. Keeping in mind that it’s the GOVERNMENT who has wormed it’s way into most industries with unfavorable results.

              • we don’t pay much attention to mark around here swede. he loves to derail threads. this is about exxon lying, ducking and weaving their way through another calamity.

              • I guess it depends on the consequences you bemoan. Is it clean air and water? Because we didn’t have a whole hell of a lot of that around when William Clark and Marcus Daly were kings. Wildlife wasn’t too swift on all that either, nor were bulltrout and cutthroat.

                Doctors pushed morphine addiction due to lack of regulation, and people died on bathtub gin. Laudium anyone?

                Cars blew up being rear-ended (when does that ever happen.

                Shall I go on?

                You’re fine with government intervention when it means gas oil and coal subsidy…you’re just not fine when it’s there to protect consumers.

                I haven’t heard any advocate free market for quite a while. In fact, I almost mentioned it the other day. Maybe just the thought brought it out. Ha.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                Let clear up the word “subsidies”.

                The economic definition of subsidy is “a financial aid supplied by a government, as to industry, for reasons of public welfare, the balance of payments, etc.”


                The implication of this defition is “financial aid”. Further from the dictionary, financial aid is defined as “money to support a worthy person or cause”.

                From these definitions, a subsidy is granted money. If you wish to imply that Oil is given a subsidy, you must also imply every individual in the United States, including every billionaire that files taxes is given a subsidy. But deductions, from the above definitions, are not, and can’t be construed to be subsidies, under the interpretations of these definitions.

                When exploration is done, complanies put their own money on the table. It doesn’t do it from money given as a grant from the government, like direct subsidies to wind power. They take risks with monies given to them by stakeholders, from big-monied investors to employees with their 401K’s.

                The administration is playing fast and loose with the facts to further demonize the part of the energy industry that doesn’t meet their list of approved sources. Oil provides 9 millions jobs in the United States and 7.5% of the US GDP, coal employs around 173,000. In a dry hole or a failed mine, industry still has to pay employees to perform jobs in the finding oil or coal. To ask that they be able to write off losses is to give them no special concessions.

              • Dem Antidote

                Calling a politician by his first name (or an affectionate nickname) is a good sign that you’ve lost objectivity.

                From a PR standpoint, it is very important for politicians to appear to be doing something, you know, like not having a birthday party while a city is flooding.

                Please explain the importance of Governor Schweitzer opening an office. How does it facilitate cleanup? What will be done that would not be done without the existence of that office.

              • Dem Antidote

                we don’t pay much attention to mark around here swede. he loves to derail threads. this is about exxon lying, ducking and weaving their way through another calamity.

                That’s not true, by the way. It is true that I ignore virtually all of your posts and comments, as you are boring and unoriginal. But it is not thread de-railing that troubles you about me. It is my anti-Democrat attitude. This is why you complain about me and not others when we don’t do as you say.

                Now, you said lying, ducking, weaving…, and have generally characterized Exxon as an evil monster. This indicates shallowness, as you don’t seem to grasp that Exxon is not a person, but rather a collective. “It” did not intentionally spill oil, and it is not in “Its” best interest to appear to be indifferent. “It” must operate on a civil defense level, and coordinate with government officials while at the same time managing public perceptions. It will try to avoid liability wherever possible, but on the other side, people will try to claim more than actual damages.

                Your invective is non-productive. It’s merely a platform for moral superiority, making you feel superior. That’s a character flaw, as I see it.

          • Dem Antidote

            I’ve been intending to write on this subject but getting distracted. I will, but to answer your silly questions, Is government more or less involved? More, I would say, as it picks up pieces – those areas that the private sector refuses to serve – the poor, already sick’ and aged.

            Services have become far less customer oriented, though the most satisfied customers in the country use VA. But in terms of getting into the system, insurers have become arrogant assholes.

            Cost? You’re out of your league. Other countries use government-run or single payer or heavy regulation, and cost 1/3 to 1/2 od what we pay. Private insurance is largely responsible for that. I’ll explain why when I write about this.

            You pretty much know only what you know and don’t try to see anything else, so that’s enough of this.

            pb is kind of a thread nazi and a control freak. I try to ignore him.

            • Ingemar Johansson

              Car Ins. has gotten cheaper especially with the ability to purchase your policies in another state.

              Are those companies less greedy? Arrogant assholes? No. The ability to circumvent stupid state government mandates and laws reduces costs.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                And those countries you mentioned-can you sue them it they take the wrong kidney?

              • Dem Antidote

                Insurance is a vital tool in any economy, and works well in property and casualty and finance. It does not work well in health case unless it is heavily regulated to force insurers to cover everyone for basic care. Otherwise, they start excluding the already sick, the poor and the aged. Hmmm … look around you.

              • Dem Antidote

                And those countries you mentioned-can you sue them it they take the wrong kidney?

                [sigh] I’m going to do something else now. Please check out my post sometime today on enclosure.

  10. i am sure this is not necessary but it is important for landowners to not sign anything exxonmobil gives them until they have consulted with an attorney.

    exxonmobil is out in force with claims adjusters. it is common practice by these slime-devils to attempt to limit liability by getting people to sign waivers before they have a chance to get counsel on the full impact of the damages both present and future.

    just ask any fisherman in the gulf and alaska.

  11. As many have pointed out many times (rob was the last one a few days ago on another thread), there is no free market when you are talking about the energy industry. They are so married to the government with subsidies, tax incentives, co writing regulations, lobbying, etc that it would be impossible to seperate the two. Given that situation, it can’t possibly be a free market because the very rules of a free market don’t apply to them. I think it unlikely that anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together will ever argue “free market” when it comes to the US energy companies.

    • JC

      You make a good case for nationalizing the energy industry.

      • I am not sure what you mean by nationalizing but, in some ways, it already is. The only real difference between nationalizing it and the way it is now is that the Energy companies make insane amounts of profit with no risk – the public picks up the risk.

        As far as true nationalization, I am not convinced that it isn’t a bad idea, though it would never fly here. The Public sector has a far better record when it comes to running things like this without the waste, greed and corruption that is occuring now. Further, the public would not be supporting fat cat millionaires reaping obsene amounts of money off the public. Unfortunately, that is socialism and the outcry from the ubber right would be deafening. It makes no difference at all that it would be cheaper, more effective, less dangerous, and better managed.

        For me, it has nothing to do with socialism, and little to do with sticking it to the corporate a-holes that would love to enslave this country. It has EVERYTHING to do with National Security. There are few things that can effect our National Security quicker than an issue with our energy production system.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          No MC, JC’s got a point.

          The same people who run the post office and Freddie and Fannie can use their expertise to run the Oil Industry.

          • Steve W

            Yep, it’s also the same people who run the military, the largest and most socialized of all institutions.

            And it’s the same people who run the police and fire and courts and FBI and we know that a Swede by any other name has zero confidence in those institutions.

            No, it’s the Leamann Brothers and the General Motors of the world who Swede has faith in. but wait! They are also socialist institutions, right? So now what, Ingemar Swede Johansson?


          • Let’s not forget to mention that the reason the Post Office has fallen on hard times is that it did its job very very well until other better technologies could force it into obsolescence. What’s killing the USPS is another ‘socialist’ invention, the Internet.

            • Ingemar Johansson

              Federal Express and UPS make billions delivering packages.

              Ya think USPS could pick up some of it’s billions in losses with it’s package business.

              • Actually, following the UPS strike, USPS had lower rates on parcel post – undercutting UPS by quite a bit – for smaller parcels (the USPS has some serious limitations to package size and weight). Sadly, USPS was not allowed to advertise like UPS so many did not know they were cheaper. By the time the public twigged on the fact, UPS had recovered from it’s little hickup (partially because of a tax payer funded subsidy) and lowered their rates on the parcels being handled by USPS until they undercut USPS (but they raised their “frieght” package rates to cover for the losses on small parcels). It isn’t that the USPS is ineffecient, it is that they operate by federally mandated rules that force them to be less competative.

                What is really killing USPS, though is the internet. Fed Express and UPS do not compete with USPS in that respect, the internet does.

                When it comes to power generation, the US government has a seriously proven record of handling small power generations stations safely, efficently and effectively. There is no reason to believe that they could not handle large scale power generation stations with the same efficency and effectiveness – and they wouldn’t have to turn billions of dollars of profit every three months like Exxon.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                You’re right about one thing. USPS doesn’t advertise like UPS.

                Yeah, they just blow 32 million on bike races.


        • We do have a term for national interests being supported by corporate underwrite, especially when both government and corporations use that public need to manipulate public behavior for the benefit of both government and business. That term is fascism, and no, I don’t drop it lightly.

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