ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline has been buried for more than six decades, quietly propelling oil between Texas and Illinois beneath the backyards of Mayflower, Arkansas. Pegasus' years in obscurity ended March 29, when it ruptured, spilling at least 12,000 barrels.
Now, the broken conduit is at the center of a national debate -- the plan to transport much larger volumes of heavy oil from the Canadian tar sands through the United States, through both older pipelines like Pegasus and new ones like the proposed Keystone XL. The line break in Arkansas may provide a real-world test of a hotly contested issue: Is tar sands oil more corrosive and damaging than other types of crude?
H/T: National Geographic News
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