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From Valdez to BP: A Toxic Anniversary

Across America, oil spills have wrought havoc on our land, wildlife, and the health of our families and communities. March 24 and April 20 represent the anniversaries of the worst oil spills in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez and the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, respectively. Together, these events dumped more than 5.65 million barrels of dirty oil in U.S. waters.

In light of this toxic anniversary, the Sierra Club presents a three-week look at oil companies' poisonous legacy across our nation.

Mayflower spill

Ironically, we begin our review with a current event: the Exxon oil pipeline spill in Arkansas. On Friday, March 29, a leak was discovered, forcing the evacuation of 22 homes. As of Sunday, 12,000 barrels of oil and water were recovered from the site. A toxic spill in a residential area brings the reality of dirty and dangerous pipelines right to Americans' back doors and throws up red flags for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would transport 740,000 more barrels of oil per day than Exxon's faulty pipeline in Arkansas.


--Claire Price, Lands Team Intern

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