For Immediate Release

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Lindsay Meiman, lindsay@350.org

Bill McKibben Response to Tar Sands Spill in Arkansas

WASHINGTON - In response to the tar sands spill from Exxon Mobil Corp’s Pegasus pipeline in central Arkansas, 350.org founder Bill McKibben issued the following statement:

“We'd be wise to think about this as one more sad warning, like the spills in Kalamazoo and the Yelowstone River. What the people of Arkansas are enduring today is a reminder of why approving KXL, a pipeline ten times as large and running across the Oglalla Aquifer, defines a bad idea.”

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry nearly 900,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen through the US everyday. McKibben is referencing the 2010 spill in Kalamazoo, Mich, when an Enbridge oil pipeline ruptured, spilling almost 1 million gallons of tar sands bitumen and contaminating over 35 miles of the Kalamazoo river. On July 7, 2011 Exxon-Mobil’s Silver Tip tar sands pipeline ruptured and spilled 42,000 gallons into the Yellowstone River.

The spills are characteristic of tar sands pipelines, which across the Midwest spilled 3.6 times as much crude per mile than the national average between 20010 and 2012. Tar sands pipelines operate at higher temperatures that conventional pipelines and high temperature pipelines are more likely to spill due to external corrosion.

350.org is calling on President Obama to reject the permit for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

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