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Arkansas Oil Spill Raises Concerns Over Keystone XL

An oil pipeline spill that flooded tar sands crude oil into an Arkansas suburb over the weekend has raised concerns about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline planned to cross South Dakota.

The Arkansas spill was along an Exon pipeline –it’s separate from the TransCanada company pushing for the Keystone expansion–but some South Dakota landowners say the threat of an environmental disaster is real.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has this story.

Some South Dakota ranchers say the on-line videos of crude oil spilling out of suburban backyards and flooding street gutters is a stark reminder of what can go wrong in a pipeline spill.  Duane Vig ranches near Mud Butte along the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.  He says there needs to be a bond set aside to pay for any environmental accidents that may occur.

“Our political leaders have not made any serious effort to either be compensated or to try and pay a few cents per barrel to cover expenses to clean up this spill,” says Vig.   

But spokesperson for TransCanada says the company has a very solid track record and new technology will help prevent spills on the Keystone XL.   The Obama Administration is considering the future of the pipeline.  Many South Dakota political leaders favor the proposal, but a number of groups including tribal governments and ranchers are in opposition.