Great Falls Tribune: Yellowstone oil spill proves rules need to be tougher

The timing of oil spill disasters is never good, but it’s tough to think of a worse time for the weekend’s ExxonMobil pipeline break beneath the Yellowstone River.

To start, it came at the front end of a three-day holiday weekend, and while evidence suggests pipeline employees reacted quickly and shut it off as soon as the leak was discovered, we wouldn’t be too surprising to hear that the subsequent response was something short of optimum.

For example, officials in counties downstream expressed unhappiness with the fact that they heard about the approaching spill directly or indirectly from news reports, not from the company or disaster officials.

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