6 things you need to know about the Arkansas oil spill
By now, you already know that at least 84,000 gallons of crude spilled from an ExxonMobil pipeline, swamping an Arkansas subdivision on Friday, and causing the evacuation of 22 homes. In addition to the loss of wildlife, damage to property, and environmental and human health hazards posed by the spill, it may have implications for the Keystone XL pipeline currently under consideration by the Obama administration.
There is a lot more to the story that's important to understand. Here are six crucial things.
1. Not Your Average Crude
InsideClimate News reported shortly after the spill that an Exxon official confirmed the pipeline was "transporting a heavy form of crude from the Canadian tar sands region." Specifically, it has been identified as Wabasca Heavy, Lisa Song writes, "which is a type of diluted bitumen, or dilbit, from Alberta's tar sands region" although you won't hear any Exxon folks calling it tar sands.