Campaigner sees warning in U.S. oil spills

April 1, 2013 at 9:11 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- The release of oil into the U.S. environment from two incidents highlights the risks of transporting Canadian crude, an advocacy group said.

Oil Change International, a group expressing concern about the environmental effects of tar sands oil, said it was frustrated over two incidents last week.

About 350 barrels of crude oil spilled during a train derailment last week near Parker Prairie, Minn. Rail company Canadian Pacific sent equipment to transfer of crude oil from Canada to other cars. Little long-term contamination was expected because of freezing conditions in central Minnesota.

Oil Change International said the derailment shows there are risks with delivering crude oil by rail. A U.S. State Department review of the planned Keystone XL pipeline said rail should be considered when weighing the project's national interest.

Exxon Mobil said it recovered about 12,000 barrels of oil following a release from its Pegasus pipeline system near Mayflower, Ark. Residents were evacuated following the spill of Canadian crude oil last week.

Oil Change International said both incidents should be a warning for those supporting Keystone XL. It said the industry can't handle safety issues "on either rail or road."

The Environmental Protection Agency classified the Pegasus release as a major spill. None of the crude oil has reached nearby Lake Conway, however.

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