Judge Orders Exxon To Produce Records on Leaky Arkansas Pipeline

June 11, 2014

ExxonMobil lost a bid to keep federal regulators and prosecutors from getting records which might show criminal negligence in its operation of the pipeline that spilled oil into the Arkansas community of Mayflower in March 2013.

Secrecy had long been a mainstay in the oil company's efforts to protect itself from accountability over the pipeline. Exxon had threatened a reporter with arrest for trying to talk to its public affairs officials, demanded that regulators keep its pipeline restart plan from the prying eyes of citizens it might injure, and opposed efforts by state and federal prosecutors to get decades' worth of documents they need in order to know whether Exxon violated the law.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled on June 10, 2014, that Exxon had to produce the documents and threw out Exxon's motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the company. She set a deadline of July 10.