In light of the recent events dealing with the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, there is another pipeline, here in our own backyard, that poses a large threat to our health, safety, and well-being in the Natural State. The Plains All American Diamond Pipeline, funded by Valero Energy, is a $900 million project that will construct a 20 inch crude bearing oil pipeline through 440 miles of inhabited land in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The pipeline itself will make its way through five different water systems, including the Arkansas River and Mississippi River. We, as human beings, only have access to a limited supply of freshwater sources for our drinking water, and the Plains All American Diamond Pipeline is threatening our way of life.
The Plains All American Pipeline L.P. is a natural gas and petroleum distributor located out of Houston, Texas. They have over 18,000+ miles of crude oil pipeline running throughout the United States; with these pipelines comes oil pipeline spills, and Plains All American Pipeline is notorious for making global media for their lack of meeting standards and dumping gallons of oils into beautiful, and sometimes untouched, ecosystems.
The company was cited and prosecuted over 10 oil spills from the years of 2004 to 2007 in states including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas. They racked up over $3.25 million in penalties from the spills. In 2010, the EPA ordered the company to revisit their pipelines and restructure, as they have not been meeting safety codes for many years. Obviously, safety and the request for more did not mean much because in both 2011 and 2012, Canadian crude oil companies monitored and owned by the Plains All American Pipeline suffered from large oil pipeline spills that together dumped over 40,000 barrels into rivers and Alberta Boreal forest areas.
As many may or may not remember, in 2013, Arkansans suffered a great deal of displacement and strife over an Exxon Mobil oil pipeline spill that left many families without homes for some time, and caused mass evacuation. Backyards, playgrounds, and streets were turned into rivers of flowing oil; not a sight to see for those within the "Natural State".
If we allow the Arkansas Public Service Commission, the Arkansas Government, and the Plains All American Diamond Pipeline the chance and opportunity to desecrate and destroy the natural beauty of the Ozark landscape, we will have done Arkansas a great disservice. We, as Arkansas (and Oklahoma) citizens, need to request that Governor Asa Hutchinson review and ponder on the implications of a pipeline that has a shaky track record of safety violations and large oil spills! Tell our Arkansas government officials to say "NO" to crude oil companies that threaten our communities!