South Portland Tar Sands Moratorium Update

From Our Friends at Protect South Portland

Now that the tar sands moratorium has passed, the City Council has until May 5th to pass a new ordinance that will provide permanent, legal protection from tar sands (or have made significant enough progress to warrant an extension on the moratorium).  We will be watching over the committee and this entire process very closely and staying active every step of the way to ensure that our community is protected!  

Please consider the following priorities: 

1. Thank the City Council members who voted to pass the moratorium!

Please compose a quick note of thanks to the City Council, and send it to them via email (see below). They also appreciate calls if you prefer to give them a ring.

After many long meetings, they really came through for the people of South Portland. It took guts, especially in the face of American Petroleum Institute threats.   

Some of the councilors stated they support the moratorium in large part because of the overwhelming contact from residents they have received asking them to keep tar sands out of South Portland!

It is clear your voices have been heard and your efforts to contact councilors have made this moratorium a reality!

Here are a some key points to reinforce when you contact the councilors (in addition to thanking them big time for passing the moratorium):

- We are pleased that there is a clear goal/task being given to the committee, and that is to write a new ordinance that will provide permanent, legal protection from tar sands

-We are pleased to see the committee will be made up of three unbiased land-use attorneys/planners; including an oil industry representative would be inappropriate

- We will be closely watching this process and staying active every step of the way, transparency for the public is very important to South Portlanders to know the task of writing an ordinance will be a success! 

- Thank them again!

Here is the contact information for the six councilors who voted FOR the moratorium:


2. Find well-qualified, goal-oriented applicants!

Applications are being accepted by the City for the three-person committee to create the ordinance. Applications are due by January 8th!

We need to spread the word about the committee (applications are due to the City by 1/8). Do you know someone who is qualified for and willing to be on the committee? Think of residents who might be land-use attorneys, planners, current or former elected officials, or others with experience/expertise in crafting ordinances.

If you know someone who fits the bill, please encourage them to apply on the city’s website. Please send along their name to so we have an idea of who is applying.


3. January 8th Protect South Portland Open Meeting – 6 PM – location to be determined

We’ve had a whirlwind of a fall.  The moratorium process isn’t totally wrapped up (the Council still needs to select three committee members and a facilitator), but it’s time to start planning our next steps.

We can’t possibly do it in one night, but first we need to bring everyone together who will be involved and start to talk about our goals and next steps in the process. The location of the meeting is to be determined (we’ll try to get a room in the Community Center on Nelson Road) and all who want to keep tar sands out of South Portland are welcome.

Protect South Portland