Mainers are environmentalists. We believe that quality of life and quality of place go together.

We might assume that our moderate senator, Susan Collins, is also an environmentalist. We would be wrong.

Sen. Collins joined 52 other senators in 2013 urging President Obama to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

When I asked her on MPBN’s “Maine Calling” on Aug. 7, 2013, whether she had second thoughts in light of the environmental tragedy that tar sands extraction is causing in Alberta, she said, “The governments of Canada and Alberta have made their decision, and we need that oil.”

Collins said the U.S. would only benefit from tar sands oil if Keystone were approved; otherwise, “the oil would be shipped to China.” Actually, after refining in Texas, tar sands oil would be sold on the world market. Americans would not see lower prices at the gas pump or for heating oil.

Collins said that Nebraska approved an alternate route that would avoid the Ogallala Aquifer. That is not true. The new route through Nebraska would avoid part of the Sand Hills, but would still impact 90 miles of the aquifer.

Isn’t Sen. Collins concerned about more oil spills like we saw along Michigan’s Kalamazoo River and in Mayflower, Ark.?

Doesn’t Sen. Collins understand and accept the concept of climate change?

Surely the $259,000 that she has received from Big Oil since entering the Senate (according to Oil Change International) has no effect on her opinion.

Does Sen. Collins have a position on the proposed reversal of the aging pipeline running from Casco Bay to Montreal? If she favors approval of a pipeline through the middle of the U.S. carrying tar sands, wouldn’t it be hypocritical for her to oppose the pipeline carrying tar sands through her own backyard? After all, “we need that oil.”

Linda Dumey

Wells