We don’t know how much oil has leaked is not the kind of information you want to put out

According to the Associated Press ExxonMobil isn’t telling state officials how much oil leaked from the ruptured Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, at least according to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel:

“We still do not know how much oil was released. We still do not know the exact makeup of the crude itself, of the chemical solvents used in the transportation process,” McDaniel said. 

Exxon has been refusing to release information on pipe maintenance as well, and the Freedom of Information Act requests are flying. There was also this nugget of information from Arkansas.com:

Meanwhile, criticism continues. Channel 4 interviewed a former Exxon pipeline worker who questioned pipeline companies’ commitment to necessary upgrades to maintain safety. He raised, too, a question mentioned here yesterday by another pipeline engineer about the wisdom of building new subdivisions over existing pipelines, as happened in Mayflower.

For Californian’s it all sounds eerily familiar to what happened after the natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno in 2010.

Senator Mark Pryor has remained silent on the leak, but Congressman Tom Griffin hasn’t, telling a local radio station he still supports Keystone XL explaining:

Well, first of all, pipelines, despite this accident — just like we have car accidents — despite this accident, pipelines are the safest way to move oil, to move energy products. They are safer then moving it in trucks … and they are safer than putting them on a train,” Griffin told local radio station 96.5 FM. “The fact is, I don’t think anyone has quit driving their car, using plastics in their home, or flying on airplanes since this spill. And as long as we need energy, we are going to need energy. And we have to find the safest way to deliver it. And this is a horrible accident but pipelines are the safest way [to transport oil].”

I agree with Congressman Griffin (shocking). The idea that you stop using vital infrastructure just because of accidents is silly. What I would have advised Congressman Griffin to add, however, is that these companies are making a fortune and should more responsible with their infrastructure. People’s lives and homes are at stake, cutting corners isn’t an option and he should be banging on the table asking for answers.


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