Late Friday afternoon, a spill from ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline spewed thousands of barrels of crude oil in Mayflower, Arkansas. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes. ExxonMobil responded to the oil spill within two hours, stopped the leak by 3 a.m. Saturday, and was able to stop the aquifers from being polluted. Despite this, within minutes social media and the blogosphere exploded with pictures of people’s homes inundated with black crude oil, claiming that this is “the future of the suburbs” if the Keystone pipeline gets approved and constructed. It’s all typical mainstream media sensationalism. When we look deeper, we can see that Arkansas was actually the best advertisement Keystone could have hoped for. The reality is that the US energy infrastructure is increasingly aging and deteriorating. The ruptured section of the Pegasus pipeline was in fact constructed in the 1940s. If most cars don’t last 70 years, how can people expect a pipeline carrying 90,000 barrels of crude oil per day to function with no major problems? Wouldn’t a new pipeline built with modern technology, regulations, and oversight be infinitely safer than the antiques that America still uses to transport its oil day in and day out? If there are no updates to how the US is doing things, oil spills such as this will become more commonplace, placing further danger on those living near pipelines, as well as on the environment. There is no disagreement that pipeline companies should do everything they can to avoid disasters. We are beginning to see more and more companies as well as regulators beginning to find their way to “the sensible solution” – a way to move forward on the upgrades that are crucial to North America’s energy infrastructure. In our last Casey Energy Report, we busted the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) myth that America will become self-sufficient in energy by 2035. This means that the USA will need to continue importing its oil… … and what better source than the friendly neighbors to the north, Canada? And for energy-sector investors, what better way to profit than to position ourselves in these companies before they start taking off? Additional Links and Reads Nuclear Power Prevents More Deaths than It Causes (Chemical & Engineering News) A recent study points out that the switching out of fossil fuels for nuclear power has in fact prevented 1.8 million air pollution-related deaths, with millions more to come in the coming decade. Despite the critics of nuclear power citing the dangers of nuclear power in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, the researchers found that nuclear power is indeed reducing the total amount of worldwide carbon emissions. Russia’s Lukoil Buys $2 Billion Onshore Oil Producer (RT) While not a huge splash like Rosneft acquiring TNK-BP, the purchase of Samara-Nafta (a subsidiary of Hess) by Lukoil is still an example of Russia securing its natural resources. The purchase adds approximately 51,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Lukoil’s production, and also gives Hess some much-needed cash. Since Hess bottomed out at $40.00 last summer, the company has rebounded nicely to its current $73.00. South Korea Struggles to Win Nuclear Rights from US (Chosun Ilbo) The United States does not have a lot of uranium fuel to spare; this fact makes its insistence that South Korea permanently relinquish its right to enrich uranium counterintuitive. However, this sort of policy falls into the race of securing nuclear authority, a race the States is clearly losing to Russia. South Korea relies on nuclear power for 35% of its electricity, but relying on the United States for fuel definitely shifts some power back to the States. We expect this sort of jockeying to continue.