Tar Sands Pipeline Headed to Maine?
Is Maine the target of the tar sands pipeline companies?
Tar sands pipeline may be headed through Maine's most environmentally sensitive lands.
With the Obama administration putting their decision on hold for a year as to approve or reject a pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta's Athabasca Tar Sands through the midwest to New Orleans, the oil companies are now looking for alternatives. One serious proposal is to pipe the oil to Montreal, and from Montreal down through the state of Maine, through its pristine forests, past Sebago Lake, to the Port of Portland, from where it would be shipped to east coast refineries. Sebago Lake, one of Maine's most beautiful, supplies the drinking water for more than 15 percent of the state's population.
Yesterday, February 10th, The Portland Press Herald reported "Environmental groups in Maine are keeping a close eye on any potential plans to transport tar sands oil via a pipeline that runs from South Portland to Canada.
"Since 1941, Portland Pipeline has transported billions of gallons of crude oil from its tank farms in South Portland to Montreal. At a news conference President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline. Now, Canadian oil companies are looking for other ways to export tar sands oil. They say Canadian oil company Enbridge is exploring ways to reverse the flow of oil from Ontario to Montreal to South Portland. They say tar sands oil can be transported safely."
Glen Brand, director of the Sierra Club of Maine, said yesterday "we're talking about the world's dirtiest source of oil." Brand told the Portland Daily Sun. "Tar sands crude is thicker, more corrosive and abasive on pipes and requires higher pressure for transporting through pipelines." For those reasons environmentalists are worried about leaks along the pipeline route. "That could pose a threat to Sebago Lake because the pipeline goes right along it,' said Brand.
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