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Griffin: Making things right for the people of Mayflower

Posted: April 5, 2013 - 8:21pm

When a Mayflower neighborhood was overrun by oil leaking from an underground pipeline, community leaders, government officials and ExxonMobil employees responded quickly. Thanks to everyone’s teamwork, damage from the spill has so far been contained.

Unfortunately, the cleanup will take time, and even after it’s complete the families displaced from their homes will face significant challenges. When I visited the site on Good Friday and again a few days later, it was clear that every resource would be needed to make this right. Residents have had their lives turned upside down and are understandably worried about the value of their homes, and I will continue working to ensure these concerns and any others are addressed truthfully and fairly.

Exxon will be held accountable. A thorough investigation will determine why this leak happened, and while Exxon employees apologized for this accident, clearly that can’t turn back the clock. They assure me they will be here until their job is done, and I will hold them to it. My office is reaching out to every family to ensure their immediate needs are properly met.

Arkansas can be proud of how our community has pulled together. Mayor Randy Holland and Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson have done an outstanding job, as have our firefighters, police, hazardous materials teams and a host of local, state and federal employees. This paper’s detailed reporting has been an invaluable resource.

Ultimately, this spill is a reminder that when it comes to producing and consuming affordable energy, we’re all in this together. Sadly, some activists disagree, and their first response was to launch political attacks. Opponents of affordable energy see the accident in Mayflower as an opportunity to advance their agenda. They never let a good crisis go to waste because their arguments aren’t new: they want to limit our access to the resources that heat and cool our homes, power our cars and keep our refrigerators running. They’ve turned up the attacks, but they haven’t turned off their iPhones, permanently parked their cars or stopped using the thousands of plastic household items that are all made from oil.

I’m focused on making things right for the people of Mayflower, so I’ll leave playing politics to them. I support building infrastructure and greater access to affordable energy. Developing and transporting energy from wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, coal, oil and gas resources all come with risks, which Americans work hard to minimize.

After all, harnessing these resources creates jobs, improves the quality of our lives, and propels our economy forward. These are things to be proud of, not resent.

Arkansas is a leader in the modern natural gas revolution — why would anyone want to drag our state backwards? The Obama Administration’s own U.S. Geological Survey study, with researchers from Duke University in cooperation with the University of Arkansas, found “no indication of systemic, regional effects” on groundwater from gas production in the Fayetteville Shale play.

American pipelines are indisputably the safest way to move oil. Every year, they transport more than 11 billion barrels, and last year, less than five ten-thousandths of one percent of it was lost to spills. In 2011, I voted for the Pipeline Safety Act, which President Obama signed into law (PL 112-090). It strengthened regulations and increased penalties on operators who break the rules. The existing Keystone pipeline is monitored via 16,000 pressure sensors refreshed every five seconds. The new Keystone XL project will include 57 additional safety measures, and the Obama Administration declared it would “have a degree of safety over any other.” Last month, 17 Democrats and every Republican in the U.S. Senate voted in favor of building it. Polls show a large majority of Americans support it too. They recognize it’s part of a smart, open, all-of-the-above energy security strategy, and would help millions of middle class families. We are all better off when energy is available and affordable.

Saying no to new energy infrastructure isn’t a plan for the future. It simply means more oil is moved in riskier ways. As The New York Times described, the Obama Administration’s latest environmental report on the Keystone XL pipeline “says that alternate means of transporting the oil — rail, truck, barge — also have significant environmental and economic impacts, including higher cost, noise, traffic, air pollution and the possibility of spills.” The report concluded Keystone XL would have “no significant impacts” on resources along the proposed route.

Protecting the environment for my children and the next generation of Arkansans is important to me. Reducing risks and fueling our lives in a responsible way is the right thing to do. When accidents occur, communities come together, help each other pick up the pieces and turn problems into progress. Mayflower residents exemplify this spirit of recovery, and I’m committed to ensuring their lives are fully restored.

(Tim Griffin is Arkansas’ congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. You can contact him through his Conway office at 358-3481 or by emailing him at his Website, griffin.house.gov/contact-me/email-me)

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turdferguson
311
Points
turdferguson 04/06/13 - 09:43 pm
6
0
Whatever, doosh.

Whatever, doosh.

crypted quill
11201
Points
crypted quill 04/07/13 - 05:27 am
7
0
This message brought to you

This message brought to you by the letter 'O'... Big Oil, Koch and Exxon.
...
"Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is one of biggest no-brainers I have seen since being elected to Congress."
http://griffin.house.gov/issue/save-keystone-xl-pipeline-jobs
...
"Why is Tim Griffin pushing Keystone Pipeline so hard? Things go better with Kochs"
http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2013/02/15/why-is-tim-grif...
...
"The Kochs and the XL Pipeline"
http://other98.com/the-kochs-and-the-xl-pipeline/

"Congressman Griffin is sponsoring the bill to force the Obama Administration to approve the XL Pipeline without the environmental review now required by law.

What’s odd is that Griffin represents Arkansas, a state with no stake in the Pipeline.

But the Kochs have a stake in Griffin. In his maiden run for Congress, Griffin was elected with an eye-popping $167,000 donation from the Kochs. For $167,000, any congressman will wash your car – with their tongue.

For the Kochs, $167K is peanuts. Their political action operation, Americans for Prosperity, built a quarter billion dollar fund this past year, a sum never seen even in the US politics cash swamp."

Devoid Disgusting Dittohead Disclaimer.

357
1880
Points
357 04/07/13 - 07:22 am
3
7
Thank you Representative

Thank you Representative Griffin for realistic and positive perspective on the situation. The oil spill sucks. ExxonMobile will be held accountable. We will be able to move past it.

Little Rock Daniel
347
Points
Little Rock Daniel 04/09/13 - 12:17 am
2
0
Exxon is not a cell phone provider

It's not "ExxonMobile" it's "ExxonMobil"...show some respect for the largest transporter of toxic, arsenic laden sewage in the World.

Miss Sintax
472
Points
Miss Sintax 04/07/13 - 08:22 am
7
1
Why would anyone want to drag

Why would anyone want to drag the state backwards? Good question. Especially the way the ledge has performed so far this year.

No doubt the above message from Griffin was vetted by the Kochs. Maybe they can explain the backwardness.

DanCDaves
2794
Points
DanCDaves 04/07/13 - 08:51 am
2
2
McDaniel used this to save his bid for governor, too.

Totally agree with Sintax. I'm sure the Kochs are behind the spill, too. Pssffttsplat.

arkansan
1079
Points
arkansan 04/07/13 - 01:12 pm
5
0
But.....

"They recognize it’s part of a smart, open, all-of-the-above energy security strategy, and would help millions of middle class families. We are all better off when energy is available and affordable."

Much of the crude oil that would flow down the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline would likely be exported as refined products by U.S. companies—a prospect that is stirring further debate over whether the project serves the nation's best interest. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732439280457835879188414551...

So basically we our taking risks to the environment so the petroleum companies can export their products and make even more RECORD PROFITS. And how much taxes do we collect from these companies. And don't they also get government subsides too? And Tim who do you work for?

DanCDaves
2794
Points
DanCDaves 04/07/13 - 01:24 pm
4
1
Renewable resources are our only hope.

I agree with your position in that ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell have no incentive not to further maximize their profits in an attempt to squeeze each other out of business. I'm trying to figure out what kind of innovation is involved with these companies as gas stations appear to be the same except pumps are easier to use, gas is higher, and salaries are astronomical. They receive ridiculous subsidies to compete against one another presumably and to keep their monopoly on transportation in the US. Their R&D seem to be directed towards finding new oceans of oil and little else.

As we try to pull ourselves away from oil and other fossil fuels, I struggle to see what work is being done by our government to actually help consumers and our environment. For all we know, they've already found the new oil or they've already hit peak and are scrambling to keep stirring up profits while they can.

Assuming that Republicans are the sole responsible party for this problem is one-sided garbage. Even Green Party darlings know it'll take oil to get some green revolution started no matter how many locally-grown organic beets they purchase.

Olguywicker
43
Points
Olguywicker 04/07/13 - 09:31 pm
2
1
Josey Wales would say:

Don't [filtered word] down my back and tell me its raining

TCJones
185
Points
TCJones 04/07/13 - 11:58 pm
3
0
Let's Focus On Our Infrastructure...

This very very disastrous and unfortunate pipeline break is at the very least very bad for Mayflower and the wildlife which inhabits the area as people do, but we must focus on the "Bigger Picture."

And it's not the Key Stone XL Pipeline, but the aging and broken-down infrastructure in this nation. It must be tended to and fixed so what we know now happened, won't happen again or at the very least, plans for contingencies and working together isn't mired down in the same quagmire which we see in Mayflower.

It must be done and there's no argument there. While opponents and supporters of energy agendas, politicize every angle of this "spill," none of us should forget that we are all responsible, and we are all accountable.

From a photo I've seen of the pipe (close-up,) it looks as if it has been in the ground more than it should have and the outside of the pipe appears to be flaking and degrading, to the point of failure, which is apparent. No one can argue against it failing. It did and now it must be cleaned-up and steps taken to inspect and correct pipelines in this very-same condition. One can just assume that our country has more pipes in this very-same condition.

Perhaps we need to go back to the 1970's and watch the commercial of the lone indian with a single tear as he watched the spoiling of the "once great" country. Yes, Exxon-Mobil is accountable and hundreds of paper-towels, booms, and fracking tanks is just not going to cut-it. Neither is complaining or jumping on the latest agenda for or against critical natural resources which create jobs and keep us from paying through the nose for oil and gas to keep our businesses, homes, and cars running.

There's a huge bigger picture here and it's going to require honesty and team-work to fix this problem from all sides. So lets get to work instead of finger-pointing. Partisan politics won't do in situations such as these, and we'd all be better-off if we just didn't go there, because if you do, you'll soon realize that this just as easily could be you and your back-yard.

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