The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 :

New DC Metro Ads Expose Exxon Mobil Oil Spill in Arkansas

Environmental Groups Urge State Department to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline


Starting Monday, April 29th, consumer watchdog organization,, in partnership with Oil Change International and Environmental Action will be placing ads in the DC metro system exposing images from the ExxonMobil tar sands pipeline spill last month in Arkansas that devastated the suburban town of Mayflower. The ads will run for one month at the Foggy Bottom metro station while the State Department considers revising its draft environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline, after over one million comments opposing construction of the pipeline were submitted.


"Exxon thought it could keep us from finding out what a tar sands spill looked like, by pushing the FAA to institute a no-fly zone and threatening reporters with arrest," explained Kaytee Riek, campaign manager for "Then over 2,000 people donated to make sure the photos that leaked out ended up exactly where it didn't want them: in front of State Department employees deciding this month to approve or reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline."

The Foggy Bottom metro station is used by many State Department employees everyday in their commute to and from work. The ads demand that the State Department not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline due to the high risk of major spills as well as its climate impacts. It is estimated that over 10,000 barrels of oil were spilled in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas in late March.

Big Oil companies are lobbying furiously for the Keystone XL, a massive pipeline stretching across the heartland of the United States that would be responsible for the equivalent of 51 coal plants worth of climate pollution per year were it to be built. If approved, the Keystone XL will be carrying even more of the same hard-to-clean-up toxic crude as the oil spilled in Arkansas. ExxonMobil put in place a no-fly zone over the spill site with the federal government to keep news helicopters from capturing images of the disaster, all to hide the danger of tar sands pipelines.

"As if the million public comments saying no to Keystone XL weren't enough, the State Department staffers who can help Secretary Kerry and President Obama make the right decision to reject Keystone XL will now be reminded of potential impacts of this pipeline every day as they head to work," explained David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. "But that jarring reminder pales in comparison to the effects from toxic spills and climate disruption we all will endure should this dirty tar sands pipeline be built."

"The struggle for a safer climate isn't over. With a growing climate justice movement, objections to the State Department report by the EPA, and seemingly a new fossil fuel spill every day, we are going to keep the pressure on," added Drew Hudson, Director of Environmental Action. "Ensuring our decision makers see exactly what their policies mean to the people and wildlife in places like Mayflower, AR is a key to making sure they do the right thing. We won't go away until they do."

For more information, or for interviews, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at