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NEWS: Canadian consulate helps derail Maine community resolution against pipeline

CBC reports, “The Canadian Consulate in Boston continues its campaign to promote Alberta oilsands and counter Maine environmentalists who don’t want bitumen in a pipeline that passes through some of their state’s most pristine and important water sources. For the fifth time in three weeks, a Canadian consular official attended a small town meeting where a ban on the passage of oilsands oil through the Portland to Montreal pipeline was being discussed. The latest meeting was on Tuesday in the lakeside town of Raymond, Maine.”

“Environment Maine believes a reversal of the pipeline is imminent, because Enbridge has applied to the National Energy Board to reverse its Line 9 pipe between Sarnia, Ont., and Montreal. …Portland Montreal Pipe Line (PMPL) admits that it would be interested in piping oilsands to its port on the Maine coast but says so far, no such plan exists. Still, in the company’s opinion, Maine towns have nothing to worry about when it comes to oilsands bitumen in their pipes.”

“The resolution considered by Raymond’s Board of Selectmen (New England’s equivalent of a town council) was put forward by the Healthy Waters Coalition, a local environmental group. The coalition is worried about an oilsands spill into Sebago Lake. …The Crooked River supplies 40 per cent of the water in the lake and the pipeline crosses it six times. Sebago Lake serves as the water source for more than 200,000 people in southern Maine and it is the home of the Sebago Lake salmon, a rare species of landlocked salmon.”

“Steve Catir (of the Healthy Waters Coalition) had lots of support at Tuesday’s meeting in a standing-room only hall. Also on hand was the director of Environment Maine, Emily Figdor, whose group is co-ordinating the effort to get small towns along the route of the pipeline to pass resolutions opposing the proposal. So far, they have been successful in Casco and Bethel, with politicians in Windham and Portland choosing to give further thought to whether or not they will support the pipeline.”

“At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Raymond’s Board of Selectmen didn’t know what to make of the claims and counter-claims about oilsands bitumen. They said they wanted more information and decided not to adopt the resolution but discuss it again at their next meeting a month from now.”

For more, please see:
NEWS: Canadian consular officials defend the tar sands at public meetings in Maine, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=19134
NEWS: Americans raise concerns of tar sands pipeline to Portland, Maine, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17147
NEWS: Concerns continue about a Sarnia-Portland pipeline near the Great Lakes, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10997