As Administration Decides On Keystone, U.S. Experiences Two Tar Sands Spills
Written by Rebecca Leber
One week after the Senate held a symbolic vote in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. saw two different oil spills involving Canadian tar sands crude oil.
An ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured Friday, leaking approximately 10,000 barrels of tar sands crude in an Arkansas town. As a result, 22 homes have been evacuated as officials clean up of the world’s dirtiest oil:
Exxon shut the Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Pakota, Illinois, to Nederland, Texas, after the leak was discovered on Friday afternoon, the company said in a statement.
The Keystone XL pipeline would carry almost nine times the barrels of oil as the Pegasus pipeline.
The first oil spill came Wednesday, when a train reportedly carrying tar sands oil spilled 15,000 gallons in Minnesota. Also this week, Exxon was hit by a $1.7 million fine for a pipeline that dumped 42,000 gallons of oil in the Yellowstone River in 2011 (the fine itself is a small hinderance for a company that earned $45 billion profit last year).
As one of the companies to profit from Canadian tar sands, Exxon often takes to its blog to defend its so-called safety. Big Oil lawmakers then repeat those myths despite evidence to the contrary. On Friday, the same day as Exxon’s oil spill, Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) claimed the pipeline is a “no-brainer” and passes environmental “muster.” The State Department recently issued a draft report claiming the pipeline will have no environmental impact, authored by a contractor with extensive ties to oil companies.
This post was originally published by Climate Progress.