Nothing ruins a nice Easter weekend worse than an oil spill and a deadly accident at a nuclear power plant. Just ask the people of Arkansas. That's how they spent their holiday. It's sounds messy.
Arkansas's beleaguered weekend started on Friday afternoon when oil started to leak out of an Exxon Mobil pipeline in Mayflower, about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock. The breach flooded the tiny town of less than 3,000 people forcing 22 families from their homes in what the Environmental Protection Agency classified as a "major spill." The true scale of the spill didn't come into focus until Sunday, however. At that point in time, Exxon's army of 15 vacuum trucks and 120 workers had sucked up 12,000 barrels of oil and water. The pipeline carries 95,000 barrels of fuel a day.
The spill comes just four days after a train derailed in Minnesota dumping 15,000 gallons of crude, leaving critics to criticize the impending Keystone XL pipeline project. Opponents of the new pipeline are quick to point out how spills like this be terribly destructive to the natural environment. "Whether it's the proposed Keystone XL pipeline," said Rep. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, or the "mess in Arkansas, Americans are realizing that transporting large amounts of this corrosive and polluting fuel is a bad deal for American taxpayers and for our environment."
Well some of the alternatives aren't exactly a walk in the park. After the inconvenient oil spill near LIttle Rock, there was an accident at a nuclear power plant about 200 miles south of Magnolia and its oil spill. It left one 24-year-old worker dead and three injured. The specific details of the incident at Arkansas Nuclear One are unclear but authorities say "in a non-radiation area, and there has been no risk to public health and safety identified." The head of the plant's emergency preparedness department also asked people to read their Emergency Instructions Booklet. Because after an oil spill and a nuclear accident, who knows what's coming next!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.