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.
350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.