Oklahoma Congressman: ExxonMobil ‘Should Be Patted On The Back’ For Arkansas Oil Spill

Mayflower, Arkansas

ExxonMobil’s recent oil spill dumped some 200,000 gallons into Mayflower, Arkansas, killed wildlife, and caused 22 homes to be evacuated. As the Natural Resources committee takes up another bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) argued at a hearing that the spill is more evidence the Keystone XL pipeline is a safe bet for Americans.

Comparing the safety of a pipeline to other transportation methods, Mullin said there is no reason to make a “big deal” about the spill:

“Would we really rather ship oil across the oceans? You’re talking about a catastrophe, we’re buying the oil. The percentages of barrels that are shipped daily from rail, from road, and from water the accidents versus the pipeline accidents, it’s a fraction. Your group is making a big deal about this ExxonMobil spill? I think Exxon should be patted on the back for the way they handled this. Yes this was horrible, yes we don’t like to see it, but they handled it. They did a great job handling it. I think they showed an example of what could be done when a catastrophe happens.

Watch it:

In fact, Exxon has been heavily criticized for its public dismissal of the harm and scope of the spill. And thanks to a technicality, the company can avoid paying taxes toward the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund — an exemption that applies to most tar sands crude.

Mullin also claimed the pipeline would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, which he linked to acts like the Boston Marathon bombing. “I mean, would we rather buy oil from the Middle East that sponsors the acts that we see like at the Marathon that we just saw yesterday?” he said. “I don’t know if that was actually sponsored by them or not but that’s the acts that they support.” Setting aside his sheer speculation over the cause of the tragedy at Boston, Mullin’s claims about reducing foreign oil dependence just don’t add up. Keystone XL guarantees more oil is shipped overseas, not less: The pipeline moves Canadian oil across the U.S. straight to the Gulf of Mexico, where it is refined and then exported. A Department of Energy analysis noted that Keystone XL will have virtually no impact on Middle East imports.

For the record, oil and gas companies rank among the freshman congressman’s largest donors.

28 Responses to Oklahoma Congressman: ExxonMobil ‘Should Be Patted On The Back’ For Arkansas Oil Spill

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Oil is a threat to our homes, basically because climate change changes the setup of our climate in negative ways. With oil we have no future!

  2. robert says:

    He makes a great point: Pipelines are by far the safest way to transport oil.

    Of course, as is common among his tribe, he misses the point he’s making. Even the safest means of transporting oil is, ultimately, disastrous.

  3. Gale says:

    Lie, lie and more lies! Why doesn’t he ask the people who live in Mayflower if it’s no big deal? This oil isn’t for the US market! Who is he trying to fool?

  4. catman306 says:

    The oily voters of Oklahoma should be proud of their oily congressman and his oily political backers.

    They’ll also need many tons of kitty litter to clean up the oily mess in Arkansas. And maybe some Dawn. Both available at Walmart.

  5. Erwin Brown says:

    Mullin is ……you know what he is.

  6. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    How can they get away with spewing such muck without any comeback. Oh and they should take Exxon to task as well.

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    He is performing, like a ventriloquist’s dummy, for his paymasters, and that ain’t his ‘constituents’.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I’m mulling it over- your comment, that is, not the ‘whacky backy’. Is not Engleesh infinitely plastic?

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s like a serial killer being congratulated for ‘fessing up to where he buried his victims.

  10. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Spills are just small technical problems, and their effects are just another of those ‘externalities’, ME

  11. Victoria C says:

    Another dumb southern politician in the pocket of big oil. Everyone pretend to be surprised.

  12. John M says:

    A pat on the back? Sure. if by “pat” you mean swift kick and by “back” you mean “rear”.

  13. Daleks says:

    It shouldn’t be any surprise that Mullen’s #2 campaign contributor is the oil and gas industry.

  14. Digby Dellums says:

    I think 1000 gallons of crude on Mullin’s porch would make him ecstatic with joy and praise for oil extraction techniques.

  15. Matt says:

    Shorter Rep. Mullin: Remember kids, freaking out in wildly disproportionate ways to danger is ONLY appropriate when there are scary brown people sitting on TOP of oil – not when the oil is pouring out onto the ground poisoning things.

  16. iyoumeweus says:

    Pipelines are organized in accordance with the 1986 Tax Reform Act as Master Limited Partnerships. They do not pay Federal Corporate Taxes since the Act exempts enterprises organized as MLP’s. Some of the investors may pay taxes on their dividends. Pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has a history of allowing pipeline firms to collect taxes and pocket them as profit. The Commission and its employees are a revolving door between regulator/regulatee.
    The public needs to know the following:
    Who are the partners and what is their role and contribution to the firm? Who is responsible for the pipeline’s operation and oversight of maintenance, inspections and public safety?
    The public also has the right to know how all 200 pipeline firms are organized, their profits, taxing programs, investor dividends whether from profits and/or new investors, and there overall safety record.
    An Executive and Legislative investigation of all these matters should be undertaken before any approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline is given.

  17. Rebecca says:

    The emperor is naked people! Sadness abounds when the discussion is full of self-centered misguided disinformation that perpetuates a big lie worthy of destroying anyone in its path.

  18. Roger Francoeur says:

    This guy should be tared ,(With tar sand ), and feathered

  19. Martha Pearce-Smith says:

    “Mullin also claimed the pipeline would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil…”

    This is a lie. This “oil” is not to be used in the US because it is too dirty. It will be shipped to China and other countries who have no such regulations.

    These pipelines foul our nation and are of no benefit to it. Once more we are seeing profits privatized while risk is socialized…

  20. Tom Gannon says:

    Wow–shades of Joe Barton “We should apologize to BP for the spill in the Gulf”. Have these people no shame???

  21. Chris Winter says:

    Mullin: “Your group is making a big deal about this ExxonMobil spill? I think Exxon should be patted on the back for the way they handled this. Yes this was horrible, yes we don’t like to see it, but they handled it. They did a great job handling it. I think they showed an example of what could be done when a catastrophe happens.”

    This guy makes absurd statements, then tries to walk them back. He did the same thing with his reflexive claim that the Boston bombing is linked to Middle-East terrorists.

    Your mission, Congressman Mullin, is to seek out each domestic oil-pipeline spill and pat the company responsible for cleaning it up on the back. That includes Alaska. It’s OK, you can take the time off; your constituents will understand. (The citizens of Oklahoma, however, may not.)

  22. Rolanda Hurst says:

    Whether one is for or against the Keystone Pipeline, we should all be sensitive to those whose lives have been dramatically altered by oil spills. Yes, Exxon is trying to clean up the spill, yes, oil spills happen all the time, but does that mean we become desensitized to human suffering or the care of the environment? Yes, we are dependant on oil, and therefore need to focus on developing safer pipelines with improved oil leak detection, and treat every negative pressure drop in the system with utmost urgency and improve the reaction time of turning off flow in these situations. Pipeline inspectors need MORE education, and there should be more of them. Inspections should occur much more frequently, perhaps monthly or quarterly,so we can understand the effects of chemical additives and seismic activity in the region. Fracking for natural gas near these vulnerable regions should be minimized to reduce the frequency of manmade earthquakes.There should be a collaboration among oil experts to study and share best practice outcomes of companies which have the best track record. Oil companies need to put egos and personal greed aside, and DO this. Placement of any new pipelines should be examined very carefully, as well as the volume and additional chemicals it carries. Regardless if you are for or against the pipeline, please be sensitive with your language or your point will be lost. Finally, get all your facts straight before speaking; we are all innocent until proven guilty.

  23. Jeanne says:

    I find it such a shame that the wonderful people in the great state of Oklahoma are being “represented” by an ambitious idiot such as this man. Perhaps he is auditioning for a job in the PR department of an oil company, since he will probably not serve a second term in the House.

  24. ron says:

    how much is big oil paying him

  25. Just Another Joe says:

    In 1995 I worked in Prince William Sound doing archaeological surveys. Move a rock and the oil bubbles up. Oil sheens all over the place. The Exxon-Valdez spill occurred in 1989.Thanks Exxon my sorry ass. I am sorry for the people affected by the tar sand spill.

  26. Timothy laurent says:

    just like rep barton apoligized to BP for us sayin mean things when they threw sheer greed ignored safty protocals to get at that oil dant F’ed up the gulf …by the way ed markey brought for th a bill that would keep all of the keystone pipeline oil here in the US the drill baby drill idiots would have no part of it and shot it down how is that for being america first?

  27. Paul Browne says:

    Aren’t tar sands oil spillages actually beneficial to the environment? You know, like in 4 or 5 million years time?

  28. Debi Blood says:

    I would very much like to comment on how asinine Mullins’ remark is, but I can’t get past his first name. Markwayne? Is that for real or a typo?