The adoption of the tar sands oil moratorium Dec. 16 brings relief and a coming together for the city of South Portland, a good way to end the year, but it’s not over.

The important work is to come, to do the right thing for our city, Maine, New England, the U.S. and the world: to change our local laws to keep us tar sands-free.

The majority of South Portland residents are aware there is no gray area when it comes to tar sands oil.

Unfortunately, Big Oil and Canada have “struck gold” with tar sands products in Alberta and are desperate to use the Montreal-Portland Pipe Line and our deep-water port to bring them to the world market. And they will not back down.

So we need to stay strong and help everyone realize one truth: Nothing is right about tar sands oil. From its mining and refining processes to transporting and storing it, it’s too toxic, plain and simple.

In this age of climate change we have global warming reports signed by world scientists, changes in behavior and extinction of our wildlife, extreme weather events, rising ocean temperatures and countries signing international carbon reduction agreements.

We can’t afford a petroleum product (tar sands oil) that takes massive amounts of energy and water to produce, increases carbon emissions and kills ponds and wildlife, for starters.

In 2009, Portland Pipe Line Corp. obtained a city permit to build the necessary infrastructure to reverse the flow of our pipeline in order to bring tar sands oil here for storage and export. In 2012, they let that permit expire without starting construction.

The moratorium gives us time to ensure this doesn’t happen again, to keep tar sands out for good!

Melinda Timpf

South Portland