In a small town outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured over 19,000 barrels of a mixture of Canadian crude oil and water. More than twenty residents of the town were forced to evacuate from their homes, and according to USA Today, they may be forced to refrain from reentering their homes for another month. See below for what an oil spill might look like in your backyard. Property owners who recently put their home up for sale rightly worry about a decline in market value due to the spill. About a mile from the location of the spill is Lake Conway, just three miles north of the Arkansas River. While ExxonMobil claims the oil did not flow into these bodies of water, some residents saw the oil spilling into storm drains on the street.
No doubt, the flames of those opposing the contentious Keystone XL Pipeline have been fanned, creating worry and discomfort about the installation of a pipeline intended to transfer 800,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil across the nation. Adding to the growing list of unexpected oil spills in Kalamazoo and Yellowstone makes the TransCanada’s claims in favor of the security of the Keystone XL Pipeline seems doubtful.
Will the current administration rule in favor of landowners or forsake the risks of property damage for industrial capital? The Globe and Mail says the President is expected to make a decision this summer. For now, we can only wait.