Paint it black gold


Exxon (Motto: What Valdez?) has a pipeline that has sprung a leak and is currently spilling Texas tea all over a few rivers and landscapes in Arkansas.

Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.

Exxon also had no specific estimate of how much crude oil had spilled, but the company said 12,000 barrels of oil and water had been recovered – up from 4,500 barrels on Saturday. The company did not say how much of the total was oil and how much was water.

I’m sure this would make normal people who voted for the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline over a vital agricultural aquifer feel a certain amount of shame and reflection, but I’m fairly certain that Senators have their capacity to feel shame removed, which is why they don’t burst into flames when they put their hand on a bible to swear their oath of office. And their capacity for reflective thought is surpassed by your average tree sloth’s. So I’m sure they’ll all sleep soundly at night because it’s not their land that’s covered in sludge.

I think a dose of honesty would be refreshing for once:

I don’t know the immediate cause of “the incident.” Maybe a mole burrowed through the pipeline. Maybe a seam burst. But I can tell you the general causes of “the incident.” One general cause of “the incident” is that energy companies, and their partners in the various extraction industries, lie. They lie about jobs, and they lie about the environmental impact of what they do, and they lie at full volume when something goes radically wrong with the stuff about which they’ve previously lied. They lie for a living. They lie as a perfect demonstration of what they are, and they lie as an essential part of their overall business model. And they lie without consequence, knowing they can buy their way out of any situation in which their lies do actual harm. And they lie in service to their fundamental public-relations strategy which is, basically, Trust Us.

I think that applies to our entire capitalist enterprise now: Trust us.

And the result is always the same. Corrupt and fallen people bilk us, defraud us, steal from us, pollute our lands, and then lie some more.

So I will be honest, you cannot believe the bible that man suffers from a sinful nature and believe that government should step aside and allow that sinful nature to run free and unfettered in the business environment. Well, I suppose you could, but you should expect exactly the same type of results we’re getting now.

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