MAYFLOWER, Ark. -- On warm spring evenings, North Starlite Drive buzzed with children. They cycled around the cul-de-sac at the end of the wide, block-long road, shot baskets in driveways and inevitably wound up on the swing set and trampoline behind the Bartletts' large brick house, the Los Angeles Times reports.
About 2:45 p.m. on March 29, an underground ExxonMobil oil pipeline ruptured in the woods behind the cul-de-sac. An estimated 5,000 barrels — or 210,000 gallons — of oil splashed down North Starlite into a drainage ditch, snaking into a cove off Lake Conway.
The ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline split open just as the Obama administration entered the final phases of review for the far bigger, controversial Keystone XL pipeline, handing ammunition to opponents who say that Keystone's path through major rivers like the Platte and the Missouri and over the Ogallala aquifer, the main freshwater source of the Great Plains, could lead to a catastrophe.
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