Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund

3 Apr

Spilled crude oil is seen in a drainage ditch near evacuated homes near Starlite Road in Mayflower, Arkansas March 31, 2013 (Reuters / Jacob Slaton)

from Think Progress

A technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs of its Arkansas pipeline spill.

The cleanup efforts themselves took a sobering turn as crews found injured and dead ducks covered in oil.

The environmental impacts of an oil spill in central Arkansas began to come into focus Monday as officials said a couple of dead ducks and 10 live oily birds were found after an ExxonMobil Corp. pipeline ruptured last week.

“I’m an animal lover, a wildlife lover, as probably most of the people here are,” Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson told reporters. ”We don’t like to see that. No one does.”

Exxon has confirmed that the pipeline was carrying “low-quality Wabasca Heavy crude oil from Alberta.” This oil comes from the region of Alberta where the controversial tar sands are located. Heavy crude is strip mined or boiled loose from dense underground formations that often contain a large amount of bitumen. This oil is very thick and needs to be diluted with lighter fluids in order to flow through pipelines. Reports have stated that at least 12,000 barrels of oil and water spilled into the town.

A 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil, and companies transporting it in pipelines do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Other conventional crude producers pay 8 cents a barrel to ensure the fund has resources to help clean up some of the 54,000 barrels of pipeline oil that spilled 364 times last year.

As Oil Change International said in a statement today:

“The great irony of this tragic spill in Arkansas is that the transport of tar sands oil through pipelines in the US is exempt from payments into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Exxon, like all companies shipping toxic tar sands, doesn’t have to pay into the fund that will cover most of the clean up costs for the pipeline’s inevitable spills.”

Whatever you call it, as Judge Dodson says, “Crude oil is crude oil. None of it is real good to touch.”

The smell of the spilled oil (similar to asphalt) has reached residents five miles out in the country, and will likely keep residents of 22 nearby homes evacuated for several days.
Surreal video:

The Enbridge tar sands pipeline spill in Michigan happened in 2010 and parents are still concerned about the long-term health effects of having such toxic substances seep into areas where children play.

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3 Responses to “Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund”

  1. cuttheplastic April 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Reblogged this on cuttheplastic and commented:
    Do you know what is really going on in this world? For days we have been not been receiving news of what is really going on and now – they don’t even have to pay for it!

  2. spill cleanup kit May 31, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    We should pay our dues and taxes because these are asset of nation.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund | nearlydead - April 3, 2013

    [...] Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund. [...]

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