posted on Apr, 3 2013 @ 09:13 AM
As discussed in threads this week on ATS (here
), last Friday an Exxon Pegasus pipeline ruptured, spilling approximately 80,000
(numbers are fuzzy on exact amounts) gallons of 'dilbit
' into an Arkansas residential area. Clean up
is costly, so who pays?
According to an article at The Price of Oil
, eventually, US taxpayers will. People
will, as I did, logically suppose that clean up's will be paid out of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a fund that oil companies are required to
pay into if their oil is transported within/through US territory. However, there's a huge problem with this.
The Enbridge pipeline in Michigan and the Exxon pipeline in Arkansas, however, are exempt because these pipelines are not considered to be
carrying “conventional oil”, despite the fact bitumen spills are more expensive and more dangerous.
In a January 2011 memorandum, the IRS determined that to generate revenues for the oil spill trust fund, Congress only intended to tax conventional
crude, and not tar sands or other unconventional oils. This exemption remains to this day, even though the United States moves billions of gallons of
tar sands crude through its pipeline system every year. The trust fund is liable for tar sands oil spill cleanups without collecting any revenue from
tar sands transport. If the fund goes broke,the American taxpayer foots the cleanup bill.
So they can use the funds but don't have to pay into them for tar sands oil transported through our pipelines. The Keystone XL pipeline, though yet
to be approved (it's been reported that Obama stands ready to do so), will transport 800-900,000 barrels of dilbit per day.
Last year, there were 364 spills from pipelines that released about 54,000 barrels of oil and refined products. In 2010 in Marshall, Michigan an
Enbridge pipeline sent 819,000 gallons of toxic tar sands crude into the town’s creek just 80 river miles from Lake Michigan
How long until that trust fund is burned through and US taxpayers are on the hook for cleanups?