Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Another Maine Town Passes Resolution Opposing Tar Sands Pipeline

Energy

Natural Resources Council of Maine

Otisfield residents voted overwhelmingly at a town meeting Saturday to pass a municipal resolution stating opposition to sending tar sands oil through ExxonMobil’s Portland-Montreal Pipeline, making it the seventh Maine town to publicly and officially oppose the proposal. The 63-year-old pipeline, which stretches 236 miles from Montreal to South Portland, is being considered for the transport of tar sands, a form of toxic, thick oil that is associated with higher incidence of pipeline spills and can be nearly impossible to clean up. The pipeline stretches six miles through Otisfield near Pleasant Lake and both Saturday and Moose Ponds.

The proposed tar sands pipeline would run heavy crude oil from Canada to Portland, ME. Map courtesy of Occupy The Portland Montreal Pipeline Route Facebook page

“This is an important stand for Otisfield to take to ensure the health and viability of our community,” says Moose Pond residents Scott and Zizi Vlaun. “A tar sands oil spill in the Crooked River would be a complete disaster to our environment and tourism-based economy. As organic farmers, much of our customer base comes from visiting tourists, so it would definitely hurt our business.”

The resolution states serious concerns about the environmental and public health hazards of tar sands oil in the context of a town and region heavily dependent on a clean environment for recreation, tourism and the economy at large. Concerns about threats to water quality also motivated the resolution.

“A tar sands oil spill in to the Crooked River would be a disaster for Maine people and wildlife,” says Lee Dassler, executive director of the Western Foothills Land Trust. “The Crooked River is a AA water quality river, which is supposed to be the cleanest and most protected in Maine. It also provides critical spawning habitat for Maine Landlocked Salmon. The Crooked River also provides 40 percent of the surface water to Sebago Lake, the drinking water supply for one in seven Maine people.”

The resolution was submitted by Otisfield residents who have become increasingly opposed to tar sands oil threatening the local environment and economy. Otisfield residents collected over 100 signatures from registered Otisfield voters and worked with the town selectmen to put the resolution on the warrant for Saturday’s annual town meeting.

Maine residents rally against tar sands at Sebago Lake, July 23, 2012. Photo credit: Todd Martin

“I am pleased so many Otisfield residents took the time to learn the facts about tar sands oil and were not swayed by unsubstantiated industry claims,” says Jeff Stern, chair of the Otisfield Conservation Commission. “Many Otisfield residents attended panel discussions, public presentations and movie showings to learn the facts before today’s vote. Today’s vote makes it clear that Otisfield does not want to run the risk of transporting this heavy toxic oil through our community.”

The resolution calls upon elected leaders to help ensure any tar sands pipeline proposal gets a complete environmental impact review, something that can be required by the U.S. State Department for cross-border pipelines. More than 30 towns along the pipeline have already passed similar resolutions including Raymond, Casco, Waterford, Harrison, Bridgton and Portland.

“As a Canadian citizen and a 30 year resident of Cape Bretton, I’ve seen the emergence of the tar sands extraction rush in Alberta and the devastation it has caused across a widening expanse of the Boreal forest,” says Otisfield resident Pixie Williams. “I’ve also seen the citizen resistance forming in Canada and the U.S. as people learn the facts about tar sands extraction and transportation. Ultimately our children and grandchildren will need to live with this pipeline in their backyards for years to come. We should not put their future at risk by sending toxic tar sands oil through the pipeline.”

“We congratulate the town and citizens of Otisfield on passing this important resolution,” says Todd Martin, outreach coordinator for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “Once you learn about tar sands and pipelines, it’s not hard to see that it would be a bad deal for Maine."

Visit EcoWatch’s TAR SANDS page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A warning sign near the Dakota Access Pipeline endpoint in Patoka, Illinois on Nov. 11, 2016. Cyrene Krey / Flickr

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline won a reprieve Wednesday when an appeals court canceled a lower court order mandating the pipeline be shut down and emptied of oil while a full environmental impact statement is completed.

Read More Show Less

Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the U.S. D-Keine / E+ / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced sweeping legislation that would ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the U.S. and institute stronger protections for farmworkers and communities that have been exposed to damaging chemicals by the agriculture industry.

Read More Show Less
A British Petroleum petrol station on March 10, 2017, in Ciudad Satelite, Naucalpan de Juarez municipality, Mexico State. The company will reportedly start to offer electric vehicle recharging stations at its retail gasoline stations. RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP via Getty Images

BP, the energy giant that grew from oil and gas production, is taking its business in a new direction, announcing Tuesday that it will slash its oil and gas production by 40 percent and increase its annual investment in low-carbon technology to $5 billion, a ten-fold increase over its current level, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
Recycled paper at the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority's recycling site piles up in Edinburgh, Australia, on April 17, 2019. Brenton Edwards / AFP / Getty Images

By Alex Thornton

The Australian government has announced a A$190 million (US$130 million) investment in the nation's first Recycling Modernization Fund, with the aim of transforming the country's waste and recycling industry. The hope is that as many as 10,000 jobs can be created in what is being called a "once in a generation" opportunity to remodel the way Australia deals with its waste.

Read More Show Less
President Trump displays his signature after signing The Great American Outdoors Act on August 4, 2020. The White House

The Great American Outdoors Act is now the law of the land.

Read More Show Less
The aftermath from the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, which killed 22 people in California's Sonoma and Napa counties. The National Guard / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Andrew J. Whelton and Caitlin R. Proctor

In recent years wildfires have entered urban areas, causing breathtaking destruction.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The Wildlife from Space project uses satellite technology to identify, count and monitor species such as emperor penguins in Antarctica. British Antarctic Survey / YouTube

New satellite images have revealed 11 new throngs of emperor penguin colonies, lifting the number of known emperor penguin colonies by 20 percent and their total population by 5 to 10 percent, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less