"I asked Exxon point blank last night on the phone. I said, is there anything that you're being asked to do that you have had to say 'no' to. And so far, the answer is no.

"Exxon is going to stay until it's completely cleaned up."

Griffin said his impression is that roughly 12,000 barrels of oil leaked out of an underground pipeline. A few dozen homes have been evacuated, and Exxon Mobil was working with state and local officials to keep oil out of nearby Lake Conway.

When asked whether the pipeline breach means Arkansas should be on high alert for similar accidents along the 65-year old pipeline, Griffin said he didn't think more incidents of this nature were more likely.

"I don't think we will" see more spills, he said.

"There are billions of gallons that go through these pipes. And by the way, there are pipelines — hundreds if not thousands — all over the country," he said. "Why? Because it is safer than transporting oil over the highways.

"Accidents happen, and our heart goes out to the people displaced," he added. "But what we do when we have accidents, like with any other kind of accident, is we learn from it and we try to make sure it never happens again."