April 02, 2013
12,000-Gallon Oil Spill: ExxonMobil Pipeline Rupture Affecting Arkansas Wildlife
By Chad Love
An oil pipeline rupture that has spewed over 12,000 gallons of crude oil into a small Arkansas town is starting to affect local wildlife, according to this story on Fox News:
The environmental impacts of an oil spill in central Arkansas began to come into focus Monday as officials said a couple of dead ducks and 10 live oily birds were found after an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured last week.
"I'm an animal lover, a wildlife lover, as probably most of the people here are," Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson told reporters. "We don't like to see that. No one does." Officials are urging people in Mayflower, a small city about 20 miles northwest of Little Rock, not to touch any injured or oiled animals as crews clean up Friday's spill. About 12,000 barrels of oil and water have been recovered since ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline sprung a leak, spewing oil onto lawns and roadways and nearly fouling a nearby lake.
According to the story, the ruptured pipeline was built in the 1940s and is part of a system that carries crude oil from the Midwest to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Other news accounts say the aging pipeline was carrying Canadian heavy tar sands crude from northern Alberta. Opponents of tar sands crude say the heavy bitumen oil must be blended with lighter oils or gas liquids in order to flow, which in turn makes it more corrosive to pipelines and increasing the likelihood of spills. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canadian tar sands oil across the continent to gulf coast refineries, to then be shipped for export markets rather than domestic use, has come under heavy criticism for what opponents say is the potential for even more and much larger pipeline ruptures.