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For Immediate Release, April 1, 2013

Contact:  Jerry Karnas, (305) 484-7943

Huge Arkansas Oil Spill Another Reminder of Spill Danger From Keystone XL, Other Pipelines

MIAMI— Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured on Friday, dumping up to 400,000 gallons of tar-sands crude oil into a subdivision in Mayflower, Ark., forcing the evacuation of 22 homes. This latest pipeline spill was preceded by another two days earlier, when a train carrying Canadian tar-sands crude spilled 15,000 gallons in Minnesota.

Coincidentally, Exxon last week was hit with a $1.7 million fine from a 2011 pipeline spill that dumped 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River.

“These oil pipelines inevitably spill again and again, fouling our rivers, neighborhoods and wildlife habitat,” said Jerry Karnas, field director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Building even more pipelines like Keystone XL across the heart of the American Midwest is only courting more trouble and more terrible spills.”

The U.S. State Department has said the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas could spill up to 100 times. The pipeline would pass through rivers, streams and habitat for more than 20 endangered species, including the whooping crane and pallid sturgeon.

“When are we going to stop asking the planet, and the American people, to shoulder all of the costs and risks of Big Oil’s disastrous drive for ever-greater profits?” Karnas said. “If we’re going to avoid oil spills like the one we just saw in Arkansas, President Obama needs to have the courage to reject Keystone and rapidly, efficiently embrace cleaner, safer energy sources — ones that don’t put us at risk every day.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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