Exxon Oil Spill in Arkansas: Thousands of Barrels of Oozing Goo
A pipeline carrying heavy Canadian crude oil ruptured near Mayflower, Arkansas, spilling more than 10,000 barrels. So far clean-up crews have recovered less than half, approximately 4,500 barrels of oil and water. The leak was discovered on Friday, reports Reuters.
The Pegasus Pipeline which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Pakota, Illinois, to Nederland, Texas, has been shut down. According to Reuters:
A company spokesman confirmed the line was carrying Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude. That grade is a heavy bitumen crude diluted with lighter liquids to allow it to flow through pipelines, according to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), which referred to Wabasca as “oil sands” in a report.
This is Exxon’s second spill in a week, highlighting the utter stupidity and horrendous environmental danger of the Keystone XL pipeline project currently under consideration by U.S. State Department. This leakage occurred under a housing subdivision, it has not yet reached the nearby Lake Conway. The earlier spill happened Wednesday, a train carrying Canadian crude derailed in Minnesota, spilling 15,000 gallons of oil.
According to Tod Hunter, via Twitter, Exxon is trying to stop photos like this one from being seen.
At an Easter brunch I attended, the Good Friday spill was a major topic of conversation, and one of the guests brought up that members of the First Nations of Canada, including tribes from British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Alberta had walked down to join Native Americans and an unusual coalition of environmentalists, property rights advocates and ranchers opposing the Keystone XL. Kandi Mossett, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network said:
Specifically, as tribal, First Nation, indigenous communities, we need to ban together to ensure we do hold the State Department and President Obama accountable to making the right decision by denying the permit to build the KXL and by shutting down the southern leg from Oklahoma to Texas.
Their message was consistent: The federal government has done a poor job of consulting with tribes about the possible health and cultural impacts of the pipeline if it were allowed to carry oil through their homelands. Many of them fervently believe that such development could adversely affect health, have cultural ramifications and destroy sacred sites.