About five years ago, China bought at least two oil sands mines for billions in Alberta. Their problem has been getting the product back to China. The shortest route would be to go west, but Canada, which has vast experience in handling this toxic substance, refused to issue a permit for a pipeline through the Rockies and to their “Pearl” of the west, the port of Vancouver.

Then China, which holds $1 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, pushed for a pipeline south through the U.S. to Texas. A spill anywhere on this route through our best farmland would render thousands of acres unusable for generations. Although they are not done trying to “persuade” lawmakers to allow this, their search took them further eastward until they arrived at Montreal. Lo and behold, a ready-made pipeline to Portland.

For the oil shippers this was the find of the century! I don’t know the exact path of the pipeline, but any spill in our backyard would be horrifying, especially if it’s near Sebago Lake. Try drinking that stuff!

If the Portland pipeline is turned down, they will simply move further east to the Saint Lawrence. This product is not destined for use in the United States at all. Why take all the risks with slim rewards?

Some would say, “What are the odds that anything could happen?” What are the odds that an oil tanker train would explode in the middle of a city, take many lives and destroy a downtown like Lac Megantic?

Albert Farah


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