October 20, 2013

Another View: Waterfront editorial parroted industry argument

The proposed tar sands ban would protect the health, safety and future of South Portland residents.

By Scott Hamann, Terry Morrison and Bryan Kaenrath

South Portland has an opportunity Nov. 5 to show out-of-state oil industry lobbyists that our community’s health and safety are not for sale by voting for the Waterfront Protection Ordinance to keep toxic tar sands out of our beautiful city.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Reps. Scott Hamann, Terry Morrison and Bryan Kaenrath are South Portland Democrats serving in the Maine House of Representatives.

The South Portland Legislative delegation is proud to serve in Augusta, and we’re concerned that the opposition to the ordinance has stirred up so much confusion, dividing our community with friends on both sides of the issue.

The oil industry has asserted a distorted and unlikely interpretation of the ordinance. Its claims are designed to confuse us by insisting that it does something no one intended it to.

This is hyperbole, and the Press Herald’s Oct. 17 editorial parrots these oil industry talking points (“Waterfront vote affects more than tar sands”).

To see how the oil company argument doesn’t hold water, ask yourself, “Who would enforce such a strict interpretation?” No one has this interest, this was not the intent of the ordinance, and no one would insist that the city interpret it in that way.

Please don’t be confused, the ordinance will protect our community.

The Waterfront Protection Ordinance strikes the right balance between protecting our community and ensuring that businesses along our waterfront can continue doing business as usual.

If oil companies decide to expand the function of their business to pump tar sands into South Portland, we’ll have the appropriate safeguards in place to protect our community.

We are confident that local interests will prevail over the well-funded oil interests stuffing our mail boxes. It’s obvious where the money is coming from, and their funding is not from Mainers.

When we look beyond the forest of signs paid for primarily by Washington, D.C., oil lobbyists, it’s clear that South Portland should do what’s right for South Portland – for our health, our safety, and our future.

Please join us in voting for the Waterfront Protection Ordinance.

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