I am a worrier. I always have been. I probably always will be. I am better than I was, but ask anyone around me and they will tell you I have a long way to go.
Most of my worries are probably about things that will never happen. I know that those worries are a waste of time.
One of my “worries” these days, though, is one that could be a real possibility unless you and I get involved.
About a year ago, I didn’t worry about tar sands oil because, frankly, I had no idea what it was. But today, I am worried. Rather than just lying in bed at night worrying like I usually do, I decided that there is something I can do to help.
So, last night, after a full day at work, I drove home, picked up my fiancé, and we headed to Bug Light in South Portland to join more than 100 people who, like me, don’t want to see tar sands oil piped from Canada through Maine, past some of the most important and beautiful waterways in our state.
More than 100 of us gathered at Bug Light Park on the shores of Casco Bay, dressed in black (for a “human oil spill” photo, but maybe also because we are mourning the destruction of the boreal forest in Canada to extract this dirty, polluting oil), carrying signs protesting this tar sands pipeline that would go through western and southern Maine, crisscrossing the Sebago Lake Watershed (the drinking water supply for all of Portland—and for 15% of all Mainers), running alongside the Androscoggin and Crooked rivers, and ending at huge tankers in Casco Bay in Portland and South Portland, where the oil would be loaded up (if it doesn’t spill and pollute Maine’s waters first) and shipped overseas for sale.
I care deeply about all of the work that NRCM is doing, but often, I sit in my office and post press releases and create graphics for our website—or I send you emails from me or on behalf of various NRCM staff urging you to go out and speak up about decisions that could be devastating to Maine’s environment. But last night, I got out and joined with others and felt the energy and urgency of this work to protect Maine from a tar sands pipeline that could destroy Sebago Lake, Casco Bay, and the Crooked and Androscoggin rivers. We must stop this pipeline from pumping this corrosive, heavy, dirty oil past our homes, businesses, schools, and through waterways that are used for drinking water, recreation, and our economy.
I am worried about Maine’s environment, but I also worry about Maine’s economy and what this pipeline would do to our way of life. Can you imagine how many people would be affected if there was a pipeline oil spill that destroyed Sebago Lake? People would no longer be able to drink the water, so may have to purchase water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, etc. Businesses that would feel the effects include local restaurants, boat rental businesses, summer camps, hotels, bed and breakfasts, convenience stores, and the list goes on and on.
Maine is “the way life should be,” and needs to stay that way. That’s why we all need to “worry” about this issue and do all we can to ensure that Maine doesn’t have dirty tar sands oil flowing through our state.