Pingree Backs Legislation To Oppose Fast-Track Tar Sands Approval This Week

Tar Sands Rally in Portland on January 26, 2013; Almost 1,500 Attended.

By Carol McCracken  Post # 1,426)

As Congress prepares to take up a controversial bill that would allow the backers of the Keystone XL pipeline project to bypass numerous environmental and regulatory requirements, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is supporting legislation which would guarantee those same shortacuts would not apply to the Portland-Montreal pipeline.  The operators of the pipeline have talked about reversing the flow so tar sands oil from Canada could be pumped to Portland Harbor for exportation to other parts of the world.

“The bill we are taking u this week is irresponsible and drisky and sets a dangerous precedent by letting the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline skip important environmental regulations,” Congresswoman Pingree said in a press release issued this evening. “I’m adamantly opposed to the bill but if Republicans succeed in getting it though the House, it should at least include language that makes it clear that it doesn’t apply to the Portland Pipeline.”

Pingree is backing an amendment writteby Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter of New Hampshire to H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, that clearly states that nothing in the bill should be construed to  apply to the Portland-Montreal Pipeline.  Congrsswoman Annie Kuser of New Hampshire is also cosponsoring the bill.

The Keystone approval bill that House Republicans will bring up for a vote this week would short-circuit a number of key requirements, including the need for a Presidential Permit.

This past Saturday, January 26, 2013, almost 1,500 people braved the biting-cold  Maine weather to attend an Anti Tar Sands Rally on the Maine State Pier, on the Portland waterfront.  Congresswoman Pingree rallied the crowd with her promise to write the Obama administration saying that since the use of tar sands oil in the 61 year told pipeline is a new use, a Presidential Permit needs to be reissued.

For more background information, please visit Post # 1,280, dated 1/26/13 herein.