From The Natural Resources Defense Council: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/exxons_arkansas_tar_sands_spil.html
April 2, 2013
As the American public becomes acquainted with images of tar sands flowing across lawns, driveways and streets of an Arkansas suburb near Little Rock (for video of the spill go here), Exxon is now making the claim that the crude spilled from its ruptured Pegasus pipeline isn’t technically tar sands. This attempt is reminiscent of the knots that Enbridge tied itself into to deny that the million gallons of tar sands it spilled into the Kalamazoo River weren’t actually tar sands. During that spill Kari Lydersen, a former Washington Post reporter covering the spill for OnEarth Magazine, helped break Enbridge CEO’s about-face, when after denying that his company had spilled ‘tar sands” for two weeks, told the press:
“No, I haven’t said it’s not tar sand oil. What I indicated is that it was not what we have traditionally referred to as tar sands oil. … If it is part of the same geological formation, then I bow to that expert opinion. I’m not saying, ‘No, it’s not oil sands crude.’ It’s just not traditionally defined as that and viewed as that.” Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel, August 12th, 2010
My colleague Josh Mogerman wrote in detail about Enbridge’s denial – and why the company tried to distance itself from the tar sands crude and the sigificant climate pollution associated with it. It seems that Exxon is borrowing Enbridge’s playbook in this case. Exxon has identified the crude spilled in Mayflower, Arkansas as Wabasca Heavy diluted bitumen. Now the company is making the case that the crude it spilled is not technically ‘tar sands.’ However, Exxon’s argument doesn’t stand close scrutiny. Let’s look at the key facts.
Continue reading at: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/exxons_arkansas_tar_sands_spil.html