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September 20, 2012

Fact Sheet: Close the Tar Sands Clean-Up Loophole

Enbridge rupture
The Enbridge tar sands oil pipeline that ruptured in Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010. Photo courtesy of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Did you know that transporters and refiners of tar sands oil don't have to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund? That fund was created after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1990 to "ensure that adequate resources are available to help clean up oil spill disasters."

It's true - tar sands oil is exempt from this fund, and yet now Enbridge could receive hundreds of millions of dollars from that fund to help reimburse its clean-up costs after the 2010 tar sands oil spill in Michigan's Kalamazoo River.

Members of Congress are speaking out against this loophole as well. "Tar sands oil shouldn't get a tax-free ride, especially when it can be more expensive to clean up when spilled," said Rep. Ed Markey, the Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee. "Oil companies already enjoy their billions in tax breaks every year. They don't need another one for the dirtiest oil on the planet."

Rep. Markey and others have introduced a bill aimed at making tar sands oil companies pay into the fund.

Learn more about this shady move and why this loophole exempting tar sands oil companies from paying into the clean-up fund should be closed - in this new fact sheet (PDF).

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