Tar Sands Free Maine
There is a pipeline that runs for Portland, Maine to Montreal, Canada. Crossing through New Hampshire and Vermont, this pipeline currently carries conventional oil from Maine to Canada. This is called the Portland Montreal Pipeline, managed by the Portland Pipe Line Corporation (PPLC), and 76% owned by Exxon.
Having publicly denied, any plans for a pipeline reversal to bring tar sands oil from Canada (despite applications for such a possibility extending back to 2008), the PPLC has been presenting an altogether different public approach. From denial to dismissal to denigration, PPLC is aggressively attacking environmentalists and organizations committed to protecting all of us from the planet-destroying "Carbon Bomb"“ realities of tar sands oil.
WHAT IS TAR SANDS?
Tar sands is one of the most toxic forms of fossil fuels. Dug out from under the Boreal Forests in Alberta, Canada, tar sands are 70 times more viscous than conventional oil. As a result, tar sands oil spills are three times more likely per mile of pipeline.
Tar sands need to be diluted with toxic chemicals in order to be liquid enough to flow through a pipeline. When there is a tar sands spill, these chemicals evaporate into the air and cause health problems like nausea and headaches. Furthermore, unlike conventional oil, tar sands sink when spilled in waterways, making it nearly impossible to clean-up.
Furthermore, the exploitation of tar sands has been called "gave over for the climate" by NASA climatologist James Hansen. Continuing to extract new forms of fossil fuels will only accelerate climate change.
Tar sands spills in the past have proved the dangerous consequences. A tar sands spill three years ago in Kalamazoo, Michigan is still being cleaned up. A recent tar sands spill in Mayflower, Arkansas caused irreparable harm to local communities.
WHY IS TAR SANDS BAD FOR MAINE?
The Portland-Montreal Pipeline was built over sixty years ago and was never meant to carry viscous tar sands. The pipeline runs along the Androscoggin River for 13 miles and crosses it twice. The pipeline comes within 1000 feet of Sebago Lake, the drinking water source for 20% of Maine's population. Furthermore, it crosses the Crooked River (which provides 40% of the inflow to Sebago Lake) six times. Lastly, the pipeline runs right into Casco Bay, an economic hub of the state.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Join 350Maine as we build a grassroots movement to fight against tar sands. We plan events throughout the year, and we would love to have you on board.
We are also working with the impressive Concerned Citizens of South Portland. Please consider volunteering to help them with their efforts!
--Fact Sheet (4 pages)
--Full Report (20 pages)
- Exxon-Mobil Pipeline Fact Sheet
- Canadian Tar Sands and the Montreal-Portland “ExxonMobil” Pipeline
- TED Talk: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria
- NYT OP-ED Game Over for the Climate By JAMES HANSEN
- Forest Ethics: STOP THE US DEMAND FOR CANADA’S TOXIC TAR SANDS
- Oil Shale and Tar Sands Environmental Impact Statement(Government Document)
- NRCM Petition for Maine State Gov
- Rainforest Action Network – Tar Sands
- PBS: After Oil Spill in Arkansas, Weighing Risks of Keystone Pipeline Extension
OTHER GROUPS WORKING FOR AGAINST TAR SANDS IN MAINE
- NRCM-Natural Resources Council of Maine
- Maine Sierra Club
- Environment Maine
- Occupy Portland Maine
- Power Shift
- Rainforest Action Network