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April 3, 2013

Keystone Preview?: Crude Pictures from Mayflower

I had a couple thoughts about this photo of the Exxon pipeline spill in the wonderfully named Mayflower, Arkansas.

If it captures (some would say, “previews”) the threat posed by the much larger and controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, the photo feels too distant and ordered, the otherwise pristine driveways and the apparent containment of the oil to the cul-de-sac, or the fencing between the houses going too far in conveying the illusion of order. As the one photo of the rupture in the Wall Street Journal’s parsimonious Photos of the Day gallery on Tuesday, I think this chessboard view is abstract enough to be pretty.

If foreshadowing is the aim, however, take a look at these shots:

Mayflower Exxon spill

This last photo is another Greenpeace shot, but one in which the scale is edifying. Reminiscent of Deepwater Horizon, those are oil booms along the interstate.

If it’s relatively easy to see the analogy to Keystone, what’s not apparent here, as detailed in this San Antonio business article, is the inapplicability of the 8-cent-per-barrel fee to the oil-spill liability trust fund because the IRS provision doesn’t apply to crude from tar sand.

(photo 2: KARK caption: Exxon pipeline ruptures, sending crude oil across neighborhood street and into nearby storm drains in Mayflower, Arkansas Friday 3: via PlanetSave caption: Present Crisis In Mayflower, Arkansas, Exxon Pipeline Heavy Crude Oil Spill. photo 4: Karen E. Segrave/Greenpeace .)

  • Stan B.

    Ah! The smell, the look, the overwhelming aura and aroma of success! And this is but a taste… Does anyone really think Obama is gonna deny the XL with all the infrastructure already just a waitin’? Surely you tree huggers jest- small potatoes compared to this baby just about to blow…

  • hidflect

    Rename Mayflower to Black Gulch. I wonder if the residents there even knew about the pipeline.

  • jolene hicks

    I live in Mayflower about 1 mile away from rupture.The smell is not goodand the town is a mad house with all the crews working..They are all doing a excellent job and responded very quickly.

  • Bugboy

    “…containment of the oil…”

    Happily for the oil industry, it’s not actually categorized as “oil”, so they avoid paying into a major cleanup fund as a technicality. Don’t we live in a great country?

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