Portland, Maine tar sands resolution heads to full city council

Last night, the city's Transportation, Sustainability, and Energy Committee unanimously approved a resolution calling upon the state legislature, US State Department, US Congress, US Environmental Protection Agency, and President Barack Obama to "require a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of any tar sands oil pipeline proposal through Maine including evaluation of the health, safety, and environmental risks and spill response techniques and impacts."

In other words, not quite the bill proposed by Councilor Dave Marshall in January (which would have precluded the city from buying any petroleum products from refineries that process tar sands), but still a clear statement from Maine's biggest city on the controversial topic of tar sands

"This resolution highlights the need to fully vet and understand potential impacts of transporting tar sands oil through Maine by reversing the flow of the Portland Pipeline. Sebago Lake and Casco Bay are in close proximity to the pipeline, which raises concern for our natural resources and water supply," Marshall -- who is chair of the committee -- said in a statement. "Recent pipeline ruptures and their consequences shine a light on what can happen to a community and its environment. The spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan three years ago has been not cleaned up because the tar sands oil has sunk to the bottom of the river, requiring dredging of around 100 acres with a price tag of approximately $1 Billion. The costs far outweigh any benefits."  


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