Dallas, Texas September 23, 2013 – Community members gather tonight to protest and hold a candlelight vigil at the Exxon Mobil Data Center in downtown Dallas in response to Exxon Mobil’s negligence regarding the emergency response to the March 29, 2013 spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. The Pegasus Pipeline spilled over 210,000 gallons of Canadian Wabasca Heavy oil into a nearby neighborhood and fishing lake. It is believed that this heavy petroleum crude oil was really a blend of tar sands diluted bitumen, though it was not labeled or admitted as such by Exxon to Mayflower residents and first responders. Nearly six months after the spill, residents are still suffering from the toxic exposures they experienced.
A peaceful rally, followed by an illuminated light-up message and candle vigil will be taking place to recognize the struggle of Mayflower community members, and to send a clear message to Exxon not to restart the Pegasus Pipeline. It will also serve to raise awareness to the lack of public discourse and regulations for mixes of tar sands bitumen and natural gas condensate diluents that are being labeled as “petroleum crude oil” and dangerously shipped across Texas through antiquated pipelines such as the Pegasus.
None of the welding in the Pegasus Pipeline is up to current industry standards. “ExxonMobil completely neglected pipeline safety by running heavy tar sands oil mixtures through the old and repurposed Pegasus Pipeline,” says Tar Sands Blockade community organizer Aly Tharp. “The spill in Mayflower, Arkansas could have been prevented. We’re here to stand in solidarity with those families still living with the health consequences of the spill.”
The creative demonstration is a part of an effort led by international climate campaign 350.org that has brought together over 200 events around the country in an attempt to “Draw the Line” against the toxic effects of extracting, transporting and refining of tar sands oil. Local activist groups the North Texas Light Brigade, Tar Sands Blockade and Texas Action Coalition for the Environment came together to organize the event.
Relevant research for context:
InsideClimate News : http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130418/dilbit-or-not-wabasca-crude-question
Discrepancy between an Exxon MSDS sheet submitted to the federal Pipeline Hazardous Material and Safety Administration (regulatory agency), and the MDSD sheet provided by the product manufacturer of Wabasca Heavy blend: