Second District Cong. Tim Griffin (R) said Exxon Mobil has reversed a decision to terminate housing assistance to affected Mayflower oil spill victims and will extend a previous Sept. 1 deadline indefinitely.

“After personally speaking with a number of impacted residents, I urged Exxon Mobil to reverse its decision to terminate prematurely housing assistance for the Mayflower victims – families who have had their lives turned upside down and face difficult decisions on where they want to live,” Griffin said.

“Exxon officials have informed me that they are reversing course, have cancelled the automatic September 1, 2013 assistance cutoff, and pledge to work to meet the individual needs of the affected families, in response to my request yesterday. These victims didn’t ask for this spill, and I will continue to do all that I can to make sure they’re made whole,” Griffin added.

Yesterday, Griffin sent a letter to Gary Pruessing, president of the Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co.

In the letter, Griffin called on Exxon to “step up and fulfill its duty” to the impacted residents. He also requested that Exxon Mobil meet his demands for a conference with industry experts, state and local officials to review technical data related to the ruptured pipeline.

Last week, Griffin introduced a resolution that would prevent compensation provided to Mayflower residents from being taxable by classifying it as “a qualified disaster relief payment” under current law. This would protect the impacted families from facing thousands of dollars in additional taxes.

UPDATE: Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D), who has filed a joint state-federal lawsuit with U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer against Exxon Mobil issued a statement Friday afternoon (July 26).

“As I said yesterday, no families have left their homes to live in a motel because that’s what they wanted to do. Although I am happy that Exxon has retreated from the coldhearted policy that it announced just yesterday, I am again frustrated with the company. I am angry that families had to experience that level of stress and that it took so much public outcry for Exxon to change its position,” McDaniel said.

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