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The true extent of Exxon's Arkansas oil spill of at least 84,000 gallons of a particularly toxic form of crude oil called Wabasca Heavy is starting to come to light--despite Exxon's best efforts to keep the media away.

As Lisa Song of InsideClimate News reports,

The stakes are high and Exxon is running the show here, with federal agencies so far publicly invisible. The phone number of the command center in Mayflower goes to an ExxonMobil answering service based in Texas, and each day it is Exxon that distributes a unified command press release–which contains the logos of Exxon, Faulkner County and the city of Mayflower–with official updates on the progress of the cleanup. …

A request for a media tour of the spill site today was turned down by an Exxon spokesperson, who emerged from the command center to speak with a reporter at the gate. All areas being cleaned up so far have also been off limits. There is no central location where members of the media can gather to ask questions.

In spite of Exxon's desire to keep the damage out of the news, helicopter footage showing a subdivision besieged by black sludge has now surfaced:

Originally posted to ProgLegs on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:18 AM PDT.

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