Nationwide, protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline project are erupting, and after Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline disaster last week dumped over 10,000 barrels of Tar Sands bitumen crude in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas, ordinary Americans, some at least, are finally grasping the significance of the dangers presented by moving oil.
Shockingly, however, in the last 30 days alone, there have been at least 13 toxic oil spills on 3 continents, demonstrating that this problem is an ongoing global issue, not just something that is finally bubbling up in the backyards of working class Americans.
Furthermore, the Los Angeles Times reports that the amount of oil spilled in Arkansas represents a mere fraction of the amount of toxic oil and chemicals that leaks annually from pipelines onto American soil and in our waterways.
“Between 2008 and 2012, U.S. pipelines spilled an average of more than 3.1 million gallons of hazardous liquids per year, according to data from the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the nation’s pipeline regulator. Those spills — most commonly caused by corrosion and equipment failure — caused at least $1.5 billion in property damage altogether.” [LA Times]
While Exxon continues to threaten reporters and photographers getting too close to the oil spill in Mayflower with arrest, activists and concerned individuals are quick to do the work of the American media and are putting together a solid case against these pipelines, and against the conniving tactics that put United States law and law enforcement in the service of oil corporations.
This timely Info-Graphic by TckTckTck breaks down the most recent (and public) 13 oil spills that have occurred in just the past 30 days alone.
All spills in order of occurrence:
March 11 – 21: Gwagwalada Town, Nigera
- A week-long leak of Kilometer 407.5 NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corp) pipeline. No official # of barrels spilled released, however the spill saturated a hectare (10,000 sq metres) of marshy ground near a major water source.
Tuesday, March 19: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories Canada
- Enbridge Norman Wells Pipeline leaks 6,290 barrels of crude oil
Monday, March 25: Fort MacKay, Alberta Canada
- Suncor Tar Sands tailings pond leaks 2,200 barrels of toxic waste fluid into the Athabasca River
- CP Rail train derails and spills 952 barrels of Tar Sands crude oil
Friday, March 29: Mayflower, Arkansas
- Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus Pipeline suffers a 22 foot-long rupture, spilling at least 12,000 barrels of diluted Tar Sands bitumen
Sunday, March 31: A power plant in Lansing, Michigan USA
- 16 barrels of an oil-based hydraulic fluid spills into the Grand River
Tuesday, April 2: Nembe, Nigeria
- After suffering a reported theft of 60,000 barrels of oil per day from its Nembe Creek Trunkline pipeline, Shell Nigeria shuts off the pipe for 9 days to repair damage.
Wednesday, April 3: 350KM southeast of Newfoundland, Canada
- A drilling platform leaks 0.25 barrels of crude oil
Wednesday, April 4: Chalmette, Louisiana USA
- 0.24 barrels (100 lbs) of hydrogen sulfide and 0.04 barrels (10lbs of benzene) leak at an Exxon Refinery
Monday, April 8: Esmeraldas, Ecuador
- The OPEC-managed OCP pipeline leaks 5,500 barrels of heavy crude oil, contaminating the Winchele estuary
Tuesday, April 9: 29KM NE of Nuiqsut, Alaska USA
- Human error during maintenance spills 157 barrels of crude oil at a Repsol E&P USA Inc pipeline pump station
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