July 10, 2013

Letters to the editor: Foes of tar sands oil ignore the facts

Concerning Lucas Greco's letter of June 12 about the so-called tar sands oil moving south to South Portland ("Tar sands supporters skirt the real issue"):

He is clearly misrepresenting the facts concerning Canadian oil extracted from the Alberta tar sands fields to cast it in a less favorable light.

Mr. Greco claims the Canadian oil is "more abrasive" because it has sand in it.

The oil is extracted from the tar sands deposits, but the sand is left behind. The oil is carefully cleaned to remove all traces of sand or other abrasives for the very reason Mr. Greco claims: because it would be a problem.

The pipeline company has too much invested in the pipeline and its safe operation to allow any abrasive material in the line.

Just as Mr. Greco would not add sand to the crankcase of his car and changes the oil filter regularly, the pipeline company would not allow sand in its pipeline. It could be catastrophic. The owners aren't stupid.

Let's look into the future to see what could easily happen.

In the not-too-distant future, Canada will produce more oil than is needed for the Montreal refinery. At that time, imports through South Portland and the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line Corp. will end.

If people like Mr. Greco have their way and oil cannot be sent south in that pipeline for export, the company will close and the jobs and taxes will also end. We need the jobs and the associated taxes.

I do hope the citizens of Maine and especially South Portland see through the smokescreen being thrown up by some well-organized and misguided environmentalists (if that is really what they are) and ensure the continued operation of a well-run and environmentally friendly company.

Richard Prince
South Portland 

Deen's honesty under oath draws generational support

At Vine Street Elementary School in Bangor in 1951, I found my first "best friend," Barbara. Her dad was in the Air Force at Dow Field. We walked to and from school together (you could do that then). At each other's houses, we played every game made for two that 5-year-olds could do.

When we had to decide who goes first, we used a rhyme to decide, "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe, catch an N-word by the toe," etc.

My mother heard us saying this rhyme while we were "deciding." She very gently said that she would explain to me later why that was not the best way to choose and that Barbara's mother would explain it to Barbara when she got home. We certainly stopped using that word once we were told it was a bad word.

Until we were "educated," we had not even noticed that I was white and Barbara was black. We had thrown the N-word around almost every day, but no more, Ever. It may have taken longer in the South to become a bad word, as we all learn from our elders.

Now at 66 years old, if I ever had to make a sworn affidavit as to whether I had ever used the N-word, I, being an honest person, would absolutely have to say, "Yes, of course, but not for a long time."

Of course I have no "star power," no wealth to lose or cede to people seeking to sue me, but I can and always will stand behind the honest and truthful people who refuse to lie under oath.

Every TV station, store and product line that has jumped on the bandwagon to condemn Paula Deen has lost me. It will not matter to them, but in my own way I feel I am saluting the honesty of a woman of my generation who refused to lie about the past.

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