Understandably, no one wants the contents of an oil spill in their backyard, including in their water supply. But of course, even when there’s a local win, and a petroleum pipeline, for example, is denied construction in one community’s “backyard,” it’s likely going to be relocated into the backyard of someone else.
One key factor in the decisions of where to build such things as TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Exxon/Mobil’s Pegasus, is water. Watersheds and aquifers crossed by pipelines are a part of the conversation occurring now regarding the Exxon/Mobil Pegasus Pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, as they have been in related to KXL, and other pipelines. In Texas, the KXL pipeline crosses two major aquifers, the Carrizo-Wilcox and Gulf Coast. After the Mayflower spill, Arkansans, and Nebraskans, are asking “water” questions.
At Inside Climate Change, Lisa Song writes:
People in Nebraska are asking: If a pipeline that already exists needs to be moved in Arkansas, why route the Keystone through the Ogallala aquifer?
The photo above is from Mayflower. For more visuals about the Arkansas spill, check out The Exxon Oil Spill in Mayflower, Ark.: Slide Show of Annotated Photographs and Maps.
More “water” conversation, from Inside Climate, by Maria Gallucci:
When ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured on March 29, the company announced that no oil had leaked into Lake Conway, a major recreational reservoir just nine-tenths of a mile from the spill site in central Arkansas.
Some oil had spilled into a “˜cove adjacent to’ the lake, the company said, but “˜Lake Conway remains oil free,’ according to news releases Exxon issued as recently as April 5. …
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel told reporters, “˜I don’t understand where this distinction is coming from. …The cove is part of Lake Conway.’
On Saturday, Exxon acknowledged that subtlety for the first time. “˜There is no oil in the main body of Lake Conway’ … .
Tar Sands Blockade has reported from Mayflower since shortly after the spill, including interviews with local residents, and multiple photos. The latest, Dispatches From Exxon’s Spill Zone: The Cover-up Continues.
Concerns about Mayflower, and about KXL, resulted in Oklahoma Grandmother Locks Herself to KXL Heavy Machinery in Solidarity With Affected Arkansas Residents:
In response to the ongoing devastation from the Exxon tar sands spill in Mayflower, Arkansas a 79 year-old grandmother (Nancy Zorn) locked her neck to KXL heavy machinery and has halted construction for a few hours. This marks the third in a series of civil disobedience actions from Oklahomans who are part of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance.
Zorn was later “extracted by local law enforcement and taken into custody.”
For some analysis, William Boardman, at AlterNet, “14 Things You Need to Know About the Horrifying Arkansas Oil Spill.” Included:
1. Why Didn’t People Know They Were Living Near a Pipeline? …
2. Is That Why There’s a No-Fly Zone, Fear of Terrorists? …
7. Who Instituted What Amounts to Martial Law in the Subdivision?
Nobody, at least not officially. Some reporters have complained about the heavy-handed controls imposed by authorities, who have effectively closed off the spill zone as they see fit. …
This use of county sheriff departments is a pattern in East Texas, where TransCanada is building the Keystone XL pipeline to carry more dilbit, tar sands oil, to Gulf coast refineries. …
There are stories from states directly in the path of KXL, Pegasus and other pipelines, such as the one about Nancy Zorn. At TruthOut, though, Nick Surgey wonders: “Seven State Keystone XL Resolutions, Where Are the Environmentalists?”
Resolutions supporting the controversial KXL pipeline have now been introduced in seven states, but while TransCanada, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Chamber of Commerce have been lobbying in force for the bills to pass, there have been few opposing voices by either Democrats or environmentalists at public hearings dealing on the measures.
Surgey says that
… state resolutions calling for the approval of the KXL pipeline project (were introduced) in Mississippi, Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri. The language in three of these resolutions closely matched a “˜backgrounder’ from TransCanada. The fourth resolution, introduced in Missouri, mirrored a resolution from the American Legislative Exchange Council.
In the last few months, Ohio, Kansas, and Indiana have introduced very similar resolutions, which also feature paragraphs from TransCanada’s own materials. Although these resolutions are non-binding, they will be showcased by industry lobbyists as evidence about how state legislators (and by extension the public) feel about the pipeline project in an attempt to influence the pending State Department decision on KXL. While opponents of KXL have been active on many fronts, their absence from state legislatures nationwide has been notable.
While this doesn’t address Surgey’s concerns, it’s certainly relevant: Coalition Launches Keystone XL “˜All Risk, No Reward’ TV Ad:
The All Risk, No Reward Coalition launched today as a national group that will educate the American people on the “˜all risk and no reward’ of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to reject it.
For other reading from the advocate position, see Bill Mckibben’s Is the Keystone XL Pipeline the “˜Stonewall’ of the Climate Movement? .
Finally, for one legislator’s perspective “” Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) “” see Republican Congressman Cites Biblical Great Flood To Say Climate Change Isn’t Man-Made
“˜If you believe in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change. That certainly wasn’t because man had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.’
He made the statement as a part of his remarks
… at the Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing on H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, a bill that would give Congress the authority approve the Keystone pipeline.
You know, just in case the Obama administration doesn’t approve it.