Charlie Pierce on the 84,000 gallons of tar sands oil that spilled in Arkansas last week:
The Arkansas spill was the second accident of the week and, regarding the first of them, a train wreck in northern Minnesota, the people running the railroad refused to say whether what spilled was tar-sands oil at all, and put out a statement on which local Minnesota environmental officials called bullpucky almost immediately.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, the country’s second-largest railroad, said the company was investigating the incident. CP Spokesman Ed Greenberg said only one 26,000-gallon tank car had ruptured, adding it was a mixed freight train carrying crude and other materials. The company did not comment as to what kind of crude the train was carrying. But Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Dan Olson said up to three tank cars were ruptured and an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 gallons – or 475 to 715 barrels – leaked out.
I’m sure Canadian Pacific is not trying to bury the words “tar sands” in regards to this spill so that TransCanada, the company that’s waiting to build the Keystone XL pipeline, wouldn’t find itself with some inconvenient headlines to which it might have to respond. I also believe in the practical benefits of sunbathing in Nunavit in the middle of February.
TransCanada is no different from Exxon, which is no different from Shell — which, as kindly Doc Maddow has been pointing out, is having the devil’s own time keeping track of its wandering oil rigs in the Chukchi Sea. It lied. It lies. It will lie again. (Also, as we always point out on this issue, there’s already one Keystone pipeline, and it’s already leaked all over the landscape.) That is what the president is being asked to invite into the country. Just so we’re all still clear — which, apparently, cannot be said any more of several rivers in Arkansas.