I am deeply concerned about the possibility of tar sands coming to South Portland and Casco Bay for export. There are many reasons the product should never come through the World War II-era Portland-to-Montreal pipeline. The oil industry wants us to believe otherwise. Advertising tar sands as being good for our community is simply absurd. The air-quality issues that would result as part of the burning-off of chemicals and the lack of effective methods to clean up spilled tar sands are facts that cannot be ignored.

April 20 marked the four-year anniversary of the largest oil spill to ever happen in the world: The BP spill also known as the Deepwater Horizon spill. For 87 days, oil gushed out of a well in the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico. By the time it was stopped, a total of more than 200 million gallons of oil were spilled killing wildlife, spoiling the natural beauty, damaging the tourism industry and devastating the fishing industry.

In 2013, cleanup included 4.9 million pounds of oily product from the beaches in Louisiana alone. Storm surges continue to wash oil onto the shore of the Gulf to this day.

South Portland has no safe choice but to keep tar sands out of Casco Bay. Tar sands sinks making it even worse than the oil that spilled in the Gulf. The only way to protect our city and Casco Bay is to make sure tar sands never come here.

Jessica Meuse

South Portland

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