By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,279)
Hundreds of people from all over the northeast will converge on Portland tomorrow to protest efforts of Exxon/Enbridge to send dirty tar sands oil through the 236-mile long, 62-year old pipeline across Canada to Maine and New England. The tar sands oil orginates in Allberta, Canada.
The protest begins Saturday, January 26 at Monument Square (on Congress Street) from 12:30 – 1:00 pm. From there the protest will travel done Exchange Street and along Commercial Street to the Maine State Pier. (The Pier is beyond Casco Bay Ferry Terminal). It runs from 1:00 – 2:00 pm.
Speakers at the 1:00 rally will include Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, Unity College President Stephen Mulkey. (Unity was the first college in the nation to divest its endowment from fossil fuels, a resident of Casco, the first Maine town to vote against the pipeline at its town meeting, Burlington, VT. City Councilor Maxwell Tracy where a comprehensive anti-tar sands/pipeline resolution was recently passed, a brewery owner who depends on clean water from the Crooked River and others.
The history of disastrous tar sands pipeline spills and escalating weather disasters from fossil fuel driven climate change, make the flow of tar sands oil especially risky. The rally will demonstrate a wall of opposition to this risky proposal and call on federal officials to ensure there is a full environmental review of this project- because the threat are too great for the environment and economy of Maine, New England, Canada and Earth.
Specifically, the rally will call on officials and the State Department to require a Presidential Permit application and full environmental review BEFORE the company could start to send tar sands through the pipeline. Unless the federal government decides to require it, there may not be a permit application or adequate envionmenal review in store for this line reversal and change of product to tar sands oil.
Maine is threatened by an ExxonMobil/Enbridge tar sand pipeline that could run through Ontario. Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to Portland Harbor. In Maine, the pipeline passes next to Sebago Lake, the drinking water supply for more than 15% of Mainers, crosses the Androscoggin and Crooked Rivers and ends at Casco Bay, where it could endanger fishing and lobster industries.
On Wednesday night, the Portland City Council voted to postpone a vote on an anti-tar sands resolution and return the matter to the Transportation & Sustainability Committee which had unanimously approved the measure at its December meeting. For more details, please read Post # 1,276, dated January 23, 2013 herein.