Disturbed in South Portland

Here's what we know.

Earlier this week a notice went up on the City of South Portland website saying an "oil pipeline issue" would cause traffic delays on Broadway Avenue.save_sopo_sq.jpg

What was this "oil pipeline issue"?

A good and reasonable question, and one that 350 Maine and concerned area residents thought deserved a speedy and honest answer.

The pipeline -- yes, the same one that ExxonMobil subsidiary Portland Pipe Line Corporation (PPLC) would like to send Canadians tar sands oil through -- was "disturbed" by a road construction crew when "the protective covering surrounding the oil pipeline" was hit.

But the answer came neither willingly or easily from the PPLC. Convoluted, delayed, and evasive is how many people who sought answers described the process.

(Read more, including official responses to inquiries here.)

So ultimately, what was "disturbed" in South Portland--in addition to the pipeline covering--were the arguments that

  • this pipeline is immune from accidents (large or small);
  • that PPLC knows how to act with integrity and forthrightness when an accident does occur; and
  • that city officials are properly informed or empowered to effectively deal with such an episode.

All of this reinforces the unacceptability of tar sands oil flowing through New England to an export terminal on the shores of Casco Bay. We've seen what has happened with other tar sands spills and the lack of responsibility and transparency in both Mayflower, Arkansas and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Those communities learned this lesson the hard way, but 350 Maine is determined that such a disaster never happens in our state, because our stated goal is to keep tar sands where they belong... in the ground! And away from our communities, our waterways, our fisheries, and our lives.

So what should we do?

First, Join 350 Maine as we commit to stopping the possibility of a pipeline reversal and push back against big oil.

Secondly, help us as we work to support the impressive efforts of the Concerned Citizens of South Portland, a new grassroots group of citizens fighting hard against the pipeline infrastructure that would make the reversal possible. They need our help collecting signatures and protecting their homes. They are also holding a press conference this Monday (6/17) at 10 am at city hall in South Portland -- they'd love people to come out and show their support.

If we act now, we can be sure that tar sands oil never flows through our beautiful state. 

This is a battle for the future, but it's here and now. We need you...

Onward,

Team 350 Maine