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Mayflower residents oppose Keystone XL pipeline in D.C.

Posted: May 10, 2013 - 10:15am
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Genieve Long, 28, of Mayflower, speaks out against the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally outside the U.S. State Department. PETER URBAN PHOTO
Genieve Long, 28, of Mayflower, speaks out against the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally outside the U.S. State Department. PETER URBAN PHOTO

WASHINGTON — Two Mayflower residents who live near the site of the Pegasus pipeline spill stood outside the State Department Thursday with a message for Secretary John Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project.

“The issues I am having are my children and their safety,” said Genieve Long, a mother of four.

Long said she fears that toxic chemicals released during the spill will reach the community’s water supply and put her family at risk.

“It creates a safety hazard for everyone — wildlife and humans. Once it is in the water it will not go anywhere,” she said. “Secretary Kerry, we invite you to our community — to Mayflower — to see first hand and stop the Keystone XL pipeline.”

Damian Byers, 52, said he worries that the pipeline spill has forever reduced the value of his property – a five- or six-acre plot that is crossed by the pipeline. It’s land that he hoped would provide for his child’s future.

“I’m not an environmentalist. I’m not a tree hugger. I’m not an activist. I’m a single daddy with a 15-month-old kid,” he said.

The two traveled here to hand-deliver a letter to Kerry urging him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project that is designed to carry tar sands crude from Canada to Gulf Coast refiners. The Pegasus pipeline carries a similar grade of crude along an 850-mile stretch between Illinois and Texas.

The letter, signed by nearly two dozen Mayflower residents, said that after witnessing the devastation caused by the spill in their community they could not stand by and watch other families be imperiled by construction of a similar pipeline through their neighborhoods.

“Before you issue your final evaluation of Keystone XL, we ask that you and your staff come to Mayflower to see what happens when a tar sands pipeline ruptures,” they wrote.

Kerry was out of the country on Thursday. Byers and Long were not allowed into the State Department building but did give their letter to Kerry’s office. They plan to send a copy by mail to be certain he receives it.

The All Risk No Reward Coalition, made up of national and state environmental groups, paid for their trip.

About 5,000 barrels of oil spilled when the pipeline ruptured March 29, forcing the evacuation of nearly two dozen homes in the Northwoods neighborhood of Mayflower, about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock.

The Environmental Protection Agency has categorized the incident as a “major spill” because it was greater than 250 gallons.

The Arkansas congressional delegation has supported the Keystone pipeline in large measure because the steel pipe would come from Welspun Tubular in Little Rock.

Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, said that pipelines remain the safest way to transport oil.

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eaglesbearscardinalscowboys
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eaglesbearscardinalscowboys 05/10/13 - 12:48 pm
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It amazes me that the public

It amazes me that the public water supply for Mayflower comes from Greers Ferry yet everyone seems to forget that. I could understand the concern if people in the area of the oil spill had a well. It also amazes me that when someone posts a question or voices an opinion on the Mayflower Oil Spill page on Facebook the comment quickly gets deleted. Everyone in the community is concerned with the future of our city...but not everyone is looking to Exxon for free money!

rathjen
667
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rathjen 05/10/13 - 02:22 pm
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?

Who paid for their trip to Washington?

John Bailey
3365
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John Bailey 05/10/13 - 02:43 pm
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"The All Risk No Reward

"The All Risk No Reward Coalition, made up of national and state environmental groups, paid for their trip."

yodafunk
49
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yodafunk 05/10/13 - 03:48 pm
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Headline: Conway Residents

Headline: Conway Residents Support Child Pornography

Now all you have to do is find 2 people in Conway who have that particular taste and voila! Justified misleading headline.

Wild Turkey
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Wild Turkey 05/11/13 - 10:36 am
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Mayflower residents oppose Keystone XL pipeline

Don't know how long that pipeline been in place or how many gallons of oil have gone through the line making , in some instances, life-saving measures available and possible.

So much of what I have read suggests another opportunity for those who want to stifle progress to exploit people and a questionable situation. Real progress. The kind of progress from those willing to take the risks of business, including being sued, to offer to the public, at the best prices they can, a product or service that the public that is willing to pay for.

Why is it that after I shake hands with a self-righteous person I feel a need to take a bath?

I'm not sure I'm ready for a risk free world.

Igor Rabinowitz
7526
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Igor Rabinowitz 05/11/13 - 03:34 pm
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Funny thing

"Why is it that after I shake hands with a self-righteous person I feel a need to take a bath?"

I was just thinking the same thing! Funny.

Reaganesque
4355
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Reaganesque 05/11/13 - 07:38 pm
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Well........

This country has about 2.5 million miles of underground pipes carrying one thing or another. If that is our choice of transporting isn't it best to have it go through new, quality pipes?

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