Tar Sands Resolution Passes Committee; Leeman Avoids Vote

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,409)

Two days ago, a city committee approved a Resolution on the controversial subject of the possible tar sands entry into the New England area.  The Resolution was approved unanimously by members of the Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee; Councilor Cheryl Leeman, (R),  was not at the meeting, thus avoiding a vote on the issue.

The Resolution – “to Protect the Health, Safety and Economic Well-Being of Local Citizens and Portland’s Natural Resources from the Potential Impact of Tar Sands” was opposed by John Quinn.  He responded that there is no project planned now, although there might be one in the future.  Quinn asked the committee members what the “rush” was for such a Resolution?  Quinn picked at the veracity of parts of the Resolution.  “Is  this a message to President Obama about the Keystone Pipelilne,” he queried the committee.  A Portland Pilot, Mark, opposed the Resolution citing that business is “drying up” on the waterfront.   Several members of the public spoke in favor of the Resolution, including Donna Sawyer, Sally Trice and Nicole d’Entremont.  Eliot Stanley, Sebago Lake Anglers, voiced his support for the Resolution as well.

Councilor John Anton said this Resolution is the right draft.  “My concern is the risk to drinking water to Portland because of its proximity to Sebago Lake.  Committee Chair David Marshall and Kevin Donoghue agreed with Anton.

The Resolution will be presented to the city council for the second time in the near future.

The Resolution is available on line at http;//www.portlandmaine.gov/transcomm.htm.