January 27, 2013

Huge crowd turns out to denounce possible transport of tar sands in region

Foes and backers dispute whether there are plans to transport the substance to Casco Bay.

By Beth Quimby bquimby@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

and Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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People march down Commercial Street in Portland on Saturday to protest what they say is an emerging proposal to send tar sands oil from Canada through a pipeline to Portland harbor. Officials with the Portland Pipeline Corp., which owns the pipeline, says there is no existing proposal to send tar sands oil through the pipeline.

Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Demonstrators head to the Maine State Pier on Saturday to voice their opposition to piping tar sands oil through the region. Officials with the Portland Pipe Line Corp. say there is no existing plan to transport tar sands oil through the Portland-to-Montreal Pipe Line.

Additional Photos Below

Extracting, transporting and refining tar sands crude also requires much more water and energy than conventional crude, the NRDC said.

Proponents, however, say tar sands oil is no more corrosive or dangerous than conventional crude. They also note that Canada has adopted stricter air and water quality standards to mitigate the impact of extracting and transporting tar sands crude oil.

Exploiting a new source of oil, they add, creates jobs, protects those jobs that are dependent on the use of oil and also lessens U.S. dependence on oil from the Mideast.

"The oil sands production process is not the 'vast and destructive' industrial operation" that opponents describe, John Quinn, executive director of the New England Petroleum Council, said Jan. 21 in an Another View editorial in the Portland Press Herald.

He said tar sands oil extraction has affected less than 0.2 percent of Alberta's forests, and a tract of the forest about the size of South Carolina is under federal protection and is off-limits to extraction efforts.

Earlier this month, Casco voters approved a resolution against moving tar sands oil through the pipeline, which runs through their town. Burlington, Vt., has passed a similar measure.

The Windham Town Council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the town offices to hear Environment Maine's request for an anti-tar sands resolution.

Last week, the Portland City Council referred a measure that would have banned the use of tar sands oil products back to its Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee for more review.

Staff Writer Edward Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

bquimby@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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Police estimate as many as 1,500 people marched to the Maine State Pier in Portland on Saturday to protest the possible use of the Portland-to-Montreal Pipe Line to transport tar sands oil.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Donna Brown, left, and her husband, Jason, huddle against the wind while listening to speakers at the anti-tar sands rally Saturday.

click image to enlarge

People march down Commercial Street in Portland on Saturday to protest what they say is an emerging proposal to send tar sands oil from Canada through a pipeline to Portland harbor. Officials with the Portland Pipeline Corp., which owns the pipeline, says there is no existing proposal to send tar sands oil through the pipeline.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer



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