On March 29th, Exxon Mobile’s Pegasus pipeline burst in Mayflower, Arkansas, flooding a residential neighborhood with thousands of barrels of heavy crude oil. Many reports suggest the media is being kept away from the site. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is opening an investigation into the spill, which he says has “damaged private property and Arkansas’s natural resources”.
This amazing aerial footage of the Arkansas oil spill was captured by video journalist Adam Randall. Here is the video:
The Youtube info: “Tens of thousands of gallons of oil have flooded some of the streets and yards of Mayflower, Arkansas. The Exxon tar sands oil spill is small taste of what we would see if the Keystone XL Pipeline is approved. The media is largely being kept away from this spill. In the video you can see that Exxon’s plan to clean it up consists mostly of hoses and paper towels. Go to www.NoKXL.org and www.350.org to learn more and lend your support to the fight of people over profit.”
This footage certainly gives a different sense of the magnitude of the spill, compared to the close up pictures of the spill that are being shown in media coverage.
Exxon Mobil met with displaced residents over the weekend to explain how they can make claims for losses. “If you have been harmed by this spill then we’re going to look at how to make that right,” Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. President Gary Pruessing told them.
None of the estimated 12,000 barrels of oil that spilled has made it to nearby Lake Conway, a local drinking water source, Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson told KATV Sunday said.
It looks like the water we see in this video is contaminated, but it’s unclear how that water is related to the neighborhood’s drinking water. Still, would you feel comfortable drinking water or taking a shower in that neighborhood?
Residents say they were evacuated from their homes, and told it may be up to two weeks before they can return to them. Most of them say they had no idea the pipeline was beneath their homes. Residents also expressed concern over the impact of the spill on their property values.
It’s not as if the oil company can foresee this kind of thing, apparently. An Exxon Mobil spokesman told CNN affiliate KARK that the company’s recent inspections showed no red flags for this section.
So that kind of makes you wonder why, on March 30th, Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) drill, baby, drilled TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, saying it was a “no brainer”. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has been pressuring President Obama to approve work on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Republicans have falsely claimed it will provide 100,000 American jobs, but after reports contradicted this claim, Boehner now uses the qualifier, “indirect jobs“. To make matters worse, those “indirect” jobs were figured over the course of 100 years. In reality:
The reality is that according to the State Department, Keystone XL will only create 6,000 direct jobs with only 10%-15% of those workers being hired locally.
Last week, 17 Senate Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the Keystone pipeline. It’s a no-brainer, apparently. Unless you live near it. Let’s see. It won’t bring very many jobs– around 6,000 and of those, only 10-15% will be local hires — and there’s no way of flagging potential ruptures that can turn into environmental disasters. What are we getting out of Keystone, exactly?
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.