Schweitzer Tells Landowners to Take Oil Sample

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is telling landowners along the Yellowstone River to collect oil samples on their property.

The Democratic governor told the landowners they will be able to use the samples as evidence if they have to file claims against Exxon Mobil Corp. for damages from its pipeline spill.

Schweitzer brought hundreds of sample jars to hand out Friday at the opening of his oil spill response office in Billings.

He criticized Exxon for its response to last Friday’s pipeline failure that dumped tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone. He pointed out discrepancies in how long it took to shut down the pipeline and said officials were downplaying wildlife damages.

Rep. Denny Rehberg says a congressional hearing will be held Thursday on the oil spill.