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NEWS: Portland votes for review of Montreal-to-Portland tar sands pipeline

Map from the report titled, ExxonMobils Plans to Bring Tar Sands Oil Through the Northeast.

Map from the report titled, ‘ExxonMobil’s Plans to Bring Tar Sands Oil Through the Northeast’.

CBC reports, “The city of Portland, Maine, passed a resolution Monday night calling on the U.S. government to conduct an environmental review of Portland-to-Montreal pipeline before it is allowed to reverse its flow and potentially bring oilsands oil to a terminal on the Atlantic coast.” This resolution and others are being passed “because the pipeline is already in the ground neither a presidential permit nor an environmental assessment needs to be done to change directions on the pipeline.”

“The dual pipeline was built (in 1941) to transport oil from Portland (Harbor) to Montreal for refining. Now one of the pipes is empty and the company is open reversing the flow for the first time to ship Canadian oil to the U.S.” There is speculation that the proposed reversal of the 37-year-old Enbridge Line 9 pipeline between Sarnia and Montreal would facilitate the connection of the Alberta tar sands to Montreal and to the existing 236-mile Portland-to-Montreal pipeline through Vermont, New Hampshire and to Maine.

“Monday’s resolution is one in a string of similar resolutions passed in towns across Maine. (Casco, Bethel and Waterford have approved similar resolutions.) It is part of a campaign spearheaded by Environment Maine to stop Alberta bitumen making its way through the Maine countryside. …Environment Maine director Emily Figdor … explained that the Portland Montreal pipeline runs right next to some of the state’s most important drinking water sources, including Sebago Lake (the source of drinking water for Greater Portland).”

The CBC recently reported that, “29 Vermont towns (held) nonbinding votes against reversing the pipeline during town meetings (in March).”

Additionally, the Portland Press Herald reports, “U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire has introduced (in the U.S. House of Representatives) a proposal (the Northern Route Approval Act) aimed at oil pipeline activity between Portland and Montreal. …There has been concern that the flow of a pipeline that now carries oil from Maine to Montreal could be reversed so that Canadian tar sands oil would flow through Vermont, New Hampshire and western Maine. …’My amendment simply clarifies that the expedited process made available for Keystone will not be used to short-circuit any environmental review for possible changes to the Portland to Montreal pipeline’, Shea-Porter said.”

For more, please read:
NEWS: 29 Vermont towns vote against a Montreal-Portland pipeline carrying tar sands oil
NEWS: Americans raise concern about tar sands pipeline to Portland, Maine
NEWS: Canadian consulate helps derail Maine community resolution against pipeline