October 18, 2013

Letters to the editor: South Portland waterfront ordinance stirs debate

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The Portland Pipe Line Corp. operation in South Portland. The impact the Waterfront Protection Ordinance would have on Portland Pipe Line and other businesses is one topic at issue in the discussion of the ordinance.

2013 File Photo/John Ewing

Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, makes $40 million a year. Do you think he cares anything about the welfare of the citizens of Maine?

Judith Hopkins


We in South Portland are figuring out who to believe and how to vote on the Waterfront Protection Ordinance on Nov. 5.

On one side you have the richest, most powerful industry in the world.

Portland Pipe Line has a relatively small local presence: 35 employees. Nine out of 10 of its board of directors live outside the United States and only one lives in Maine.

The part-owner of Portland Pipe Line, ExxonMobil, has a terrible environmental track record. That is why the local company has not wanted us to know that it is part-owned by ExxonMobil.

The American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C., has contributed more than $138,000 to the opposition in their effort to defeat the less financed, but continually growing group of local resident volunteers who have had the nerve to stand up to them.

This is a David and Goliath campaign.

We need to stop them from turning South Portland, our home, into the tar sands oil export capital of North America for their profit at our expense.

We want to protect our health, air, water, tourism and marine industries – the pristine environment and scenic beauty that bring people from all over to vacation.

We want the South Portland we know and love to be here, in all its splendor, for our children and grandchildren.

I think often of the ancient wisdom: “Look at my works. See how beautiful they are, how excellent. For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one after you to repair it.” (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah 1 on Ecclesiastes 7:13)

This is why I will vote for the Waterfront Protection Ordinance on Nov. 5.

Roberta Zuckerman

South Portland

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