READY TO OCCUPY? ExxonMobil is ending housing assistance payments to people routed from homes by its oil spill.

  • READY TO OCCUPY? ExxonMobil is ending housing assistance payments to people routed from homes by its oil spill.

Sam Eifling, newly at work for us on our Mayflower oil spill project with Inside Climate News, is at work on a news story about ExxonMobil’s notice to owners of property in the Mayflower subdivision soiled by the pipeline burst that the oil giant is cutting off temporary housing assistance Sept. 1 to displaced residents.

This is sooner than some had expected. Many do not want to move home. After Sept. 1, they must or pay their own money to live elsewhere.

I mention this before the article is complete because word is leaking out. U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, one of the pipeline industry’s biggest advocates, is trying to get out in front of more bad news from Exxon by issuing a statement urging it to do right. He’s angry about the latest, he said.

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As someone who first praised Exxon’s initial response, Griffin has become more consumer oriented in recent days, a position he hasn’t adopted in the face of opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry the same kind of problematic Canadian tar sands across a senstive Nebraska aquifer. No word if Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who recently proclaimed Mayflower in better condition than pre-spill, shares Griffin’s indignation.

Though Griffin is no longer alibiing for ExxonMobil, his heightened interest hasn’t produced transparency from Exxon on reasons behind the pipeline break; solicitous treatment of directly affected homeowners, or adequate treatment of people farther removed from the pipeline break who insist they and Lake Conway have been harmed as well.

More later from Sam Eifling. In the meanwhile: Griffin’s prepared statement follows on the jump. He again mentions his legislation to give an income tax break to people who receive voluntary payments from Exxon. That legislation won’t cover payments won by lawsuits. Cessation of housing assistance raises another point of contention that might have to be resolved by legal action since Exxon intends to end voluntary payments.

ALSO: See Sam Eifling’s update.