No Oil Spill in Arkansas. All Quiet on EastAsian Front.

April 5, 2013

Enjoy this aerial footage of the Arkansas dilbit spill. Its all your going to see.

Brian Merchant at Motherboard:

Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus pipeline just ruptured and spewed toxic oily muck all over Arkansas. It ran like a river through the suburb of Mayflower, pop. 2,000. Now, Exxon has publicly decreed that it will clean up all of the oil it spilled. Which is kind of strange, because officially, according to Exxon, there was no oilspill. Technically, there was no oil in the pipeline in the first place.

That’s because if that pipeline was carrying oil, Exxon would have had to pay eight cents per barrel it pumped into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The fund was set up by a 1980 law enacted to ensure there’s enough cash on hand to cover the costs of cleanup when, say, a giant pipeline ruptures and spews crude oil all over people’s houses. But, in a little legal slight-of-hand, tar sands oil, or bitumen, is not technically classified as oil. And that’s the stuff that was flowing through Exxon’s pipeline.

hazmatTar sands oil is heavier and thicker (and much dirtier) than typical crude oil, and it must be diluted with other fluids to allow it to move through pipelines, hence the term ‘dilbit’ oil. Otherwise, it’d just clog up the tube like toxic mud. Anywho, that 1980 law exempted bitumen from the oil spill trust fund, a little fact that oil companies have gleefully kept quiet ever since the tar sands turned into the world’s biggest earth-obliterating gold mine.

As such, on the books, there was no oil spill in Arkansas. But don’t worry, Exxon is going to do everything it can to clean up its oil spill in Arkansas.

Now “Orwellian” is probably one of the more overused adjectives in internet-speak, but sometimes the term fits your blog post like an oily glove. Not only is Exxon exploiting this charming little bit of doublethink regarding the non-oil-oil-spill, but it turns out that it’s put a nicely dystopian surveillance apparatus into effect, too.

There’s apparently a no-fly zone instated directly over the spill, and it is reportedly being managed by a Exxon officials, with the cooperation of the FAA. Exxon and the FAA will tell you what you need to know about the spill, and also about the war with Eurasia, which we are winning, thank goodness.


News helicopters are not allowed over the spill, because, according to the FAA, “[Exxon is] using at least one helicopter to provide aerial support for the cleanup. For safety reasons, they asked us to protect the airspace 1,000 feet above the area to allow the aircraft to move as needed.”

It is a happy coincidence that news helicopters will also be unable to relay more embarrassing footage of Exxon’s non-oil oil spill. The FAA says that after the spill is cleaned up, they will happily allow news helicopters to fly anywhere they’d like. Reportedly, the newscasters were initially upset about the restriction. But after they had a nice long chat with the officials managing the airspace, they were seen emerging from the air traffic control towers each with gin-soaked tears running down their faces, having won victory over themselves. They loved Big Oil.

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11 Responses to “No Oil Spill in Arkansas. All Quiet on EastAsian Front.”

  1. Dennis Cox Says:

    Ummm… The “No fly zone” is only an altitude restriction. Aircraft not involved in the cleanup operation are simply required to stay above 1000 feet. This allows the helicopters that are providing air support for cleanup crews room to work without having to deal with a collision hazard created by looky-lou private pilots, and news crews who don’t have sense enough to stay out of the way.

    • stephengn1 Says:

      Ummm… The only aircraft allowed in the area were those under the direction of Tom Suhrhoff, who according to LinkedIn is an aviation adviser at ExxonMobil. After a two-day prohibition, some media were allowed to fly over on Thursday.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        we’ll look for new video of no oil soon, then

        • stephengn1 Says:

          Exxon is not stupid and this is not their first rodeo. You can hide a lot of evidence in two days. And protect yourself from a lot of liability. The less video of the immediate aftermath taken now, the less that will be available to litigators to show juries later. They’ve probably saved themselves millions with this little government assisted stunt

  2. stephengn1 Says:

    This adds to the number of fly zones instituted by companies through their proxy, our government. A no fly zone was also instituted over the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant during the flooding back in 2011 and no fly zones seem to be gaining popularity as you can see from this list from the FAA

    http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

    Expect no fly zones to increase as drones become more ubiquitous, except police drones – those will be flying 24/7/365.


  3. [...] Enjoy this aerial footage of the Arkansas dilbit spill. Its all your going to see. Brian Merchant at Motherboard: Exxon Mobil's Pegasus pipeline just ruptured and spewed toxic oily muck all over Ar…  [...]


  4. A small group of ‘citizen journalists’ (JNL_Live) dared to break through the media blackout and approach the dilbit spill area on Wednesday. They were run out of town by the country sheriff Thursday because the sheriff is “…getting a lot of money to make sure you stay out of these workers way…”

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30829283

    There’s been a reaction to the hands-on approach from the local sheriff:

    http://inagist.com/all/319901432641900544/


  5. Reblogged this on The Sand County and commented:
    Keystone XL really worries me. This is one of the many reasons why.


  6. Since I can’t reply to the one above that I want to reply to…

    Re: Exxon is not stupid and this is not their first rodeo.

    None of them are… Correxit can clean up your PR mess, eh? Someone should take some water samples downstream.


  7. [...] 2013/04/05: PSinclair: No Oil Spill in Arkansas. All Well on EastAsian Front [...]

  8. racheltyler12 Says:

    Nice blog with good info & video thanks for sharing with us. i also know about some new oil/chemical spill control site that provide you better results in spill cleanup with their effective products.


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