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    Exxon's Mayflower, Arkansas oil spill brings Keystone Pipeline talk closer to home

    6:30 PM, Apr 2, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Amid the clean up and filed complaints surrounding the ExxonMobil ruptured pipeline in Arkansas, surfaces a bigger discussion of the Keystone Pipeline.

    Congressman Tim Griffin, a strong advocate for the pipeline, said opposers of the project are using the Mayflower spill to spark negative perception of pipeline transportation of oil.

    Conservationists from the Sierra Club said the Mayflower spill is one of many reasons to not support the Keystone project.

    "The truth is that pipelines, despite this being an awful accident, pipelines are safer than transporting oil in the other means that we have. This pipeline has been there since 1948 in Mayflower," said U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin.

    The Arkansas representative said the Keystone project, which is slated to run from Canada to Texas, will be a big economic boost nationally.

    "There will be about 20,000 jobs created in the building of the pipeline and up to 100,000 in secondary jobs," added Griffin.

    Glen Hooks with the Sierra Club, a conservation group, sees the negatives of the Keystone.

    "How many accidents are we willing to take? Oil spills in Minnesota, in Michigan, now Arkansas--oil spills across the country cause devastation to our most special places," said Hooks.

    Hooks suggests a national shift to clean energy.

    "You never really hear about a solar energy spill. You don't hear about a wind spill. When you hear about a spill they come from dirty fossil fuels," he said. "If you walk around in Mayflower, and you smell what's happened, and you see their yards soaked in oil and the empty houses where people have been evacuated, it makes you stop and think a little bit about is this the right way America should generate her energy."

    Congressman Griffin said oil companies should learn from their mistakes and the Keystone means keeping American dollars out of the Middle East. Hooks argues solar advancements would create many jobs in the U.S.

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