Exxon oil pipeline floods Arkansas town, concerns grow about Keystone

Ruh roh. For all those worried about the safety of the proposed Keystone Pipeline, Exxon-Mobil’s  oil spill this weekend in a small Arkansas town isn’t allaying anyone’s concerns.

According to authorities, the spill was caused by a leak in a pipeline that goes from Illinois to Texas.  There’s speculation that the oil that was spilled might come from the same area where the Keytone Pipeline would start:

The pipeline, which was built in the 1940s and was recently expanded, was carrying low-quality Wabasca Heavy crude oil from Alberta, Exxon Mobil spokesman Alan T. Jeffers said. According to the Crude Monitor Web site, Wabasca Heavy is a blend of oil produced in the Athabasca region, where the oil sands are located.

An existing Keystone pipeline carries crude oil that comes from the oil sands deposits in Alberta to Patoka through Exxon Mobil’s lines. Jeffers said he did not know if this batch of crude oil came from the Keystone line.

I have to say, the idea of having an oil spill in a town that’s 450 miles from the sea is something I hadn’t really ever considered.  But that’s the concern with pipelines.  In addition to other environmental impacts that the State Department official study openly fretted about, then ignored.

Construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline would create “numerous” and “substantial” impacts on the environment, the State Department said Friday in a draft environmental impact statement. But the project is a better bet than any of the alternatives, it said in essentially clearing the project to go ahead.

Environment, schmironment – would you want to let the Koch Brothers, who stand to benefit financially from the Keytstone Pipeline.

Gaius posted a list the other day of the “climate-criminal Democrats” in the Senate who support the Keystone Pipeline.

Below is a map showing just how not close to the ocean Mayflower, Arkansas really is.  And then a few videos of the mess.


Mayflower, Arkansas, in red.

First, here’s a local video shot by an amateur, and after that a news broadcast confirming the spill was an Exxon-Mobil pipeline.

First the amateur video:

Then the local news broadcast:

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

Share This Post

22 Responses to “Exxon oil pipeline floods Arkansas town, concerns grow about Keystone”

  1. Those fumes go into your lungs and eventually kill you, which is why those who work with oil directly don’t live very long.

  2. I won’t want to amongst those who clean up any of those leaks . Have you read the scientific studies already done as to what this tar crued does to the human body and the next generation when it developes in the womb? I didn’t see that many ‘clearner upers’ in Arkansas…and then, I would like to see what type of health issues those men have later on down the road. I’d put money on it that those who do this type of work, don’t do it for very long.


  4. DL Greenlee says:

    I’ve worked in the oilfield as a “commoner” in order to support my family. Been a pumper, on a rig and (those of you with a weak stomach, don’t read this) participated in “fracking” Mother Nature. If this is done properly, not a problem. Ah you don’t know, you weren’t there. The problem is when things like this happen. There is no excuse. Pipelines are supposed to shut down when a leak occurs, this one obviously didn’t. Proper safety equipment was not in place, the only reason why is that the pipeline company didn’t want to spend the time or money to fit the safety equipment. With today’s technology and the wealth of oil companies, this should never, never happen. That much oil will negatively effect the ground that it flows across and Mercy, does it stink!

  5. Gerry Louis says:

    Don’t worry they know that the people who actually care about our planet will volunteer to clean up everything everyone can see with some biodegradable soap and a toothbrush. Unless big oil supply’s the cleaner then I’m sure it will be oil based.

  6. emjayay says:

    I wonder where that drain at the end of the street goes to. Being newish construction, probably there is a separate storm and non-storm sewer system, so the crude won’t be headed for the sewage treatment facility. Just to some creek or something?

  7. lynchie says:

    Yeah but the oil company will charge you $2 a gallon for the luxury. Like brewing beer at home.

  8. lynchie says:

    Is the pipe for the XL pipeline at least made in the U.S. a report says up to 75%.

    Here is a great article in Mother Jones. You can read all about Koch Industries and how the decision was influenced by Hillary Clinton’s former staffer.


    This article makes you want to gag at how the various studies were done. Business as usual with a bought and paid for government.

  9. Joan says:

    Mayflower is about 10 miles away from the Lake Maumelle watershed that supplies drinking water to all of Central Arkansas, including Little Rock. The Pegasus pipeline (which ruptured in Mayflower) also runs through the Maumelle watershed. The next leak, if there is one, could endanger the drinking water of a million people in Arkansas. Max Brantley at Arkansas times quoted a former employee of the Central Arkansas Water authority:

    “Martin Maner, retired manager of the watershed for Central Arkansas Water, provided a little background:

    …the pipeline is a bit more than 60 years old, before the lake was built. It is laid on the “contour of the land,” and is typically only a couple feet deep. It is exposed at several places as it crosses the watershed, especially as it crosses tributaries.

    We started correspondence with ExxonMobil several years ago to try to get more protection in place. There should be an extensive file at CAW.

    When I dug into the issue (after concerns raised by Barry Haas), I was astounded to learn that the then ExxonMobil spill plan didn’t even mention that Lake Maumelle was a public water supply! We wrote a detailed letter to the federal regulatory agency (can’t remember the name … been a year or two) and didn’t hear a peep on reply. ExxonMobil was cc’d and they did respond. Work was started towards a comprehensive spill plan but I don’t think it has been finalized?? There was supposed to be a come to Jesus presentation by officials of ExxonMobil to CAW Board in first qtr of 2012 but seems that fell in the cracks after the new watershed management folks came on board after I retired. It’s a helluva major concern because of the proximity to the lake and the volume of crude it carries. Maybe this rupture will get it back on point…”

  10. lynchie says:

    You have got to keep perspective on this issue. The leak here and on the XL pipeline will not happen in the neighbor hood of the 1%. Do not think for a minute this would go through a Congressman’s neighborhood or anyone in a state government. They will however go through your neighborhood and in some cases displace people because of eminent domain laws. Like the BP gulf spill it was a few hundred barrels and then a few more and in this case is 84K barrels and I don’t believe that either. The sooner we realize we have some power in numbers and take to the streets some of this shit will stop. Undoubtedly Obama got his piece of the pie as did everyone else in a decision making position as did all of Congress. Now the owners of these homes are removed. No clothes, no food, no word on who if anyone will pay the bill and you can get any of these homes cheap I bet.

  11. BeccaM says:

    It’s not actual petroleum. It’s a partially processed tar sludge that’s been thinned with toxic chemicals so that it’ll flow through a pipe.

  12. karmanot says:


  13. BeccaM says:

    But-but, y’know, uhhhh…. JOBS!

    Actually, no, it’s entirely about profit. Any jobs, supposedly in the single digits, and the irreparable damage to our ecosystem are irrelevant with respect to the real motivation for building the Keystone XL.

  14. Nah, then you’d get sued for stealing Exxon’s valuable property. (I would be interested to sample the stuff myself. I mean, how often do you get to see actual petroleum?)

  15. dula says:

    This is so much better than big government.

  16. Indigo says:

    But we knew that would happen eventually and so did our Lords and Masters. Welcome to Corporate Amerika, the Afterparty;

  17. Naja pallida says:

    The plan for Keystone XL only allocated for less than 35 inspectors and maintenance crew for the entire US-length of the pipe. I’m sure that’s more than enough to make sure nothing ever goes wrong, right? I mean, the hundreds of incidents with other pipelines is just a series of coincidences, and has nothing to do with the fact that oil companies cut corners every chance they get and put people, communities, and the environment at risk every single day to make sure they continue to be the most profitable industry in the history of humankind?

    It should also be noted, that they still have no ability or technology to actually clean up spills from these pipelines. Their best tool for this is essentially a large, absorbent puppy-pee-pad that they use to soak up a small percentage of the oil. The rest seeps into the ground. In some cases they can cart away the contaminated soil, but if it gets into a water supply, there is pretty much nothing they can do but shrug and spend more money on PR than on fixing the problem.

  18. jomicur says:

    What difference does it make if commoners’ homes get flooded with oil? The boards of oil corporations keep getting richer, and that’s what matters? Just because we don’t call them “nobles” anymore doesn’t mean they are. It’s the way they see themselves, and it’s certainly the way our “democratic” government treats them. Flood the entire Middle West with crude, but make sure the Koch brothers have enough caviar! That’s the way we do things here in the United States of Wall Street!

  19. Naja pallida says:

    Pretty soon we’ll be seeing home-refinery kit infomercials, so you can go soak up puddles of crude in your neighborhood and turn it into usable fuel!

  20. nicho says:

    Geez — do you want to be able to drive your Hummer to the WalMart or not? Stop whining about a few oil spots on the ground.

  21. clarenceswinney says:

    NEW–President Promises
    check him out
    Promises income taxes for middle-class families will stay low permanently.
    That means we lose Payroll Tax Revenues. Less in Social Security Fund and borrow more.
    A bipartisan agreement to increase taxes on incomes over $250,000 and a combination of increased tax rates and reduced tax benefits.
    The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and the new American Opportunity Tax Credit will stay in effect for at least the next five years.
    We will continue making investments that create jobs in domestic clean energy and innovation via the Production Tax Credit and the Research & Experimentation Tax Credit.
    There will be no cuts in Social Security Benefits, Medicare or Medicaid because the President stood strong against reducing our deficits on the backs of seniors, students, the poor and working families.

  22. Drew2u says:

    People only care when it affects THEIR property. See: all parts of the fracking process.

© 2021 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS