On March 29, 2013 the Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline burst spilling heavy crude oil from tar sands into a neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas. This video was shot by Drew Barnes who lives in the neighborhood where the spill occurred.
It is difficult to tell how much the surrounding area was impacted though until you see this aerial video:
And this video from the Tar Sands Blockade:
This footage was filmed behind the scenes as Exxon has taken extraordinary steps to keep media representatives from the site. (Source: Mother Jones News?& Treehugger.com) ?Arkansas Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel, reported a similar experience to KUAR Radio, the local NPR Affiliate.
“Tuesday night, McDaniel issued a subpoena for all records from pipeline owner ExxonMobil related to the spill, as his office looks into its cause and impact.
?I let it be known that I would be coming today with lawyers and with investigators and we were coming on behalf of the state and many times they attempted to route me into a van and take me on a tour.? And I tried to explain to them I’m not here for a tour and I’m not getting into a van,? McDaniel said.
?We are here on behalf of the state of Arkansas as the state’s lawyer, as a constitutional officer empowered by the General Assembly to enforce our laws and we were here to conduct an investigation, not take a tour.? So I didn’t appreciate some of how we were treated, so I can only imagine how some of the homeowners must have felt.?
He went on to say:
?I’ve been told repeatedly that Exxon was up to date on their inspections and that their inspections showed no cause for concern. But we have a pipeline that’s 65 years old that ruptured in someone’s yard, so either the inspections were not adequate or there was something that was completely beyond the ability to identify with an inspection, which I find very unlikely, which means we need to be very thoughtful about how we’re inspecting America’s aging subterranean energy transportation infrastructure.?
This is the same company that is assuring us that the Keystone XL Pipeline will be safe, but?more and more questions are being raised about those claims. Exxon’s own documents even state that this type of oil may cause cancer and that it is “toxic to aquatic life”. (Source: Arkansas Matters) ?And yet, Exxon will not have to pay into the oil spill cleanup fund because this type of “heavy oil” is exempted from the tax. ?This 8 cents per barrel tax helps to cover the cost of the cleanup when there is a spill.
In the end, we have an unreliable company with a carcinogenic product traveling through unsafe pipelines at significant cost to Americans in lost revenue and environmental damage. I can’t find an upside to this.
As?Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, said in an emailed statement,?We’d be wise to think about this as one more sad warning, like the spills in Kalamazoo and the Yelowstone River. What the people of Arkansas are enduring today is a reminder of why approving KXL, a pipeline ten times as large and running across the Oglalla Aquifer, defines a bad idea.?
Edited by: AK