An estimated 2,000 barrels of tar sands oil originating from Alberta, Canada, spilled from a ruptured pipeline owned by U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil over the weekend in Mayflower, Ark., a town of a population of around 1,700 people, forcing the evacuation of 22 homes. ExxonMobil sent emergency cleanup crews to contain the oil leakage, and has offered to pay all of the cleanup costs associated with the event.
The Mayflower oil spill has cast a shadow over the controversial plan to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. Exxon's Pegasus pipeline, the pipeline that leaked this weekend, runs from Patoka, Ill., to Nederland, Texas, covering a distance of 848 miles. The Pegasus pipeline carries over 90,000 barrels of crude oil.
ANALYSIS: The Sticky Problems With Tar Sands
Compare that to the proposed Keystone pipeline system, which would, by contrast, when fully completed transport over 800,000 barrels of crude oil along a 1,353 miles. Of that distance, 1,086 of those miles would be in the United States, according to the Congressional Research Service (PDF).