Silver Linings Playbook: Exxon Says Wildlife Hit By Arkansas Spill Were Mostly ‘Reptiles, Primarily Venomous Snakes’

Oily snakes — or snake oil?

Sure, you thought nothing good could come from ExxonMobil’s pipeline spill of some 200,000 gallons into the residential streets of Mayflower, Arkansas. After all, it was “low-quality Wabasca Heavy crude oil from Alberta.” And a technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs — a 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil.

But ExxonMobil reports from the Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center that even this cloud of oil has a silver lining:

The majority of the impacted wildlife has been reptiles, primarily venomous snakes.

Strangely, HuffPost reports, “According to its Facebook page, the Helping Arkansas Wild Kritters (HAWK) Center, which has worked to help scores of animals hurt by the March 29 spill, has not rescued any venomous snakes, but has cared for many birds.”

18 Responses to Silver Linings Playbook: Exxon Says Wildlife Hit By Arkansas Spill Were Mostly ‘Reptiles, Primarily Venomous Snakes’

  1. GrumpyDave says:

    I can think of some venemous snakes that need to be dipped in “low-quality Wabasca Heavy crude oil from Alberta” and feathers, and whipped out of state. They just happen to be the two legged type.

  2. Jan says:

    You have to say, this is some great corporate spin.

    Maybe they can come up with some killed spiders and rats, too.

    In my mind, I picture Homer Simpson leading a mob demanding “More spills NOW!”

  3. Pencils says:

    Exxon is doing Arkansas a favor! In fact, they’re just like St Patrick. Three cheers for Exxon!

    (Ow, I think I overused my snark so much it broke…)

  4. BillD says:

    I know several conservation biologists who together with their students study venomous and nonvenomous snakes. Snakes that require wetland habitats are often threatened or endangered. Of course, water birds and even frogs and salamanders are more popular. Clearly, dumping oil on land or in lakes, rivers or wetlands is very destructive and illegal.

  5. catman306 says:

    Not quite, but worth your 17 seconds:-)

    Simpsons Oil Spill

  6. Chris Winter says:

    Diluted bitumen is not oil? That reminds me of an old joke about the Korean War. A reporter is quizzing some official:

    What do you think of the Korean War?

    “You mustn’t call that a war; it was a police action.”

    Oh — well, what do you think of the Korean police action?

    “Now, there was a war!”

    Such classifications, of course, are for political expediency or the evasion of “negative externalities”. A truly moral political system would ever allow them in the first place. In our political system, they must be found and repealed — a process which usually takes a massive mobilization of effort.

  7. rollin says:

    They think we are uneducated superstitious clods that believe snakes are evil so therefor should be destroyed. No, we are highly educated, not superstitious and know that many animals will be killed and the land and water poisoned. Still we are not smart enough to do much about it or even stop it from happening again.
    Skirmishes are fought one by one, battles try to break the whole front at once. Choose your battles well.

    By the way, I do not why Exxon could not be slapped with dumping hazardous chemicals. Bitumen and it’s diluents are hazardous chemicals, carcinogens and mutagens. We do have laws against that. So what gives? We can’t make them pay to clean up a hazardous chemical spill? Sounds fishy.

  8. Chris says:

    “reptiles, primarily venomous snakes.”

    Does this include Anthony Watts and Christopher Monckton?

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    When I think of the Right’s constellation of hatreds of all that is other to themselves, eg racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, class hatred etc, I often forget ‘speciesism’, if that be the correct term, the hatred of, and indifference to the destruction of, other non-human living creatures. When will we finally rid ourselves of this spiritual tyranny?

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Every higher animal species is under threat as the sixth great extinction grinds on, brought to the planet by Homo destructans.

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Of course not! The comparison is odious, and insulting to snakes.

  12. Solar Jim says:

    RE: “a 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil.”

    Then would not “tar sands oil” be illegal, or corporate fraud or something? Where is Orwell when you need him.

  13. SasparillaFizz says:

    I love the inspired name there Mulga – definitely suits us much better.

  14. Stephanie Palmer says:

    Exxon lies………….all the time. I guess this pipeline was one of those “secure” pipelines that the American Petroleum Institute advertises in their specious ads. The bottom line for them is money. They don’t even think about water supply.

  15. Amy says:

    Basic Science fact: Take one species or type of animal out of the food chain or food web, and the rest falls down. We NEED those reptiles and venomous snakes to support that ecosystem.

  16. nubwaxer says:

    did exxon ever pay a nickel to cover the exxon valdiz spill?