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Arkansas AG vows to Maddow: Exxon Mobil will face justice in pipeline spill

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 10:19 EDT
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Dustin McDaniel on Maddow
 
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Tuesday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow welcomed Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who discussed Friday’s rupture of a tar sands pipeline in the city of Mayflower, Arkansas. McDaniel said that he is making every effort to ensure that Exxon Mobil will be held fully accountable in his state for the spill, and that he is watching other state officials to learn the best ways to fight big corporations in these types of cases.

On July 25, 2010, in Marshall, Michigan, an oil pipeline burst, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil, much of which flowed into the nearby Kalamazoo River. For nearly 18 hours after the accident, Enbridge, the Canadian company that owned the pipeline, did nothing.

Residents evacuated, poison seeped into the drinking water. Now, three years later, said Maddow, Enbridge is still trying to get the oil out of the Kalamazoo.

One year later, on July 1, 2011, there was another, similar spill in Billings, Montana.

Now, on Friday, March 29, a tar sands oil pipeline owned by Exxon Mobil ruptured in Mayflower, Arkansas.

“On friday afternoon, another pipeline, an Exxon Mobil pipeline, this one carrying between Illinois and Texas, ruptured underground,” Maddow said. “It sent a thick stream of crude oil everywhere. Dozens of residents have been evacuated indefinitely. It’s now encroaching toward Lake Conway, a local source of drinking water. So far, the oil company says 12,000 barrels of oil-contaminated water have been recovered by emergency responders.”

“One of the things that has emerged,” she continued, “is that it turns out this oil pipeline, a ticking time bomb, this was mostly unknown to the residents who live right on top of it.”

Meanwhile, one state over in Louisiana, in the trial over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a pattern is emerging in court of BP, Transocean and Halliburton destroying evidence pertaining to the spill in order to escape prosecution for their negligence.

She then welcomed McDaniel via satellite, who this week publicly ordered Exxon Mobil not to destroy any evidence related to Friday’s spill. McDaniel said that he is determined to see the company face consequences, and that he is learning from watching officials in other states.

“I’ve been in close contact with my friends,” McDaniel said, “the attorneys general in Mississippi as they have been preparing for the litigation you’ve been talking about and they’ve given me serious points of caution leading up to that litigation.”

With regards to Friday’s spill, McDaniel said, “I want to know how long was that rupture releasing before it saturated the ground before it came up to the surface. I want to know what the chemicals are in the mixture of this crude that is also been released into our environment. I want to know what they’ve done cap it, the history of the inspections, who’s going to secure the pipeline.”

Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below:

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David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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