Red Dawn, Black Spill

I heard some young men in the office speculating about whether Kim Jong-un was deluded enough to start a war. I’m not thinking much about North Korea’s bluster. In my opinion, the current threats are a diversion, though whether from a supposedly progressive administration’s failure to implement some sort of firearm legislation, or from their impending approval of the Keystone XL pipeline I can’t decide. Maybe both.

In, Exxon’s Unfriendly Skies: Why Does Exxon Control the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill? DeSmogBlog notes that the media has largely been kept away from the dilbit spill in Arkansas:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a “no fly zone” in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM and will be in place “until further notice,” according to the FAA website and it’s being overseen by ExxonMobil itself. In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon’s permission.

Mayflower is the site of the recent major March 29 ExxonMobil Pegagus tar sands pipeline spill, which belched out an estimated 5,000 barrels of tar sands diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) into the small town’s neighborhoods, causing the evacuation of 22 homes.

Someone did manage to post an aerial video. People don’t really know that transporting dilbit is a great deal more hazardous than transporting crude, and Exxon doesn’t want them to get more familiar.

In, Exxon’s Arkansas Tar Sands Spill: The Tar Sands Name Game, an environmental group called the Natural Resources Defense Council notes that Exxon is even trying to deny that the spilled dilbit has anything to do with Canada’s tar sands.

As the American public becomes acquainted with images of tar sands flowing across lawns, driveways and streets of an Arkansas suburb near Little Rock (for video of the spill go here), Exxon is now making the claim that the crude spilled from its ruptured Pegasus pipeline isn’t technically tar sands. This attempt is reminiscent of the knots that Enbridge tied itself into to deny that the million gallons of tar sands it spilled into the Kalamazoo River weren’t actually tar sands.


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