PORTLAND (WGME) — Not in my backyard. That’s the message from environmental groups trying to avoid what they call a potential disaster in the making. Wednesday night, environmentalists and Portland city leaders plan a vote to keep from happening.
City leaders and environmental activists around Portland are putting their foot down on a fuel they say is producing a damaging carbon footprint.
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan: “The city has made a concerted effort over the last several years to reduce our carbon footprint, this is another step in that direction.”
On Wednesday, Portland city leaders and groups like Environment Maine and 350 Maine introduced a measure at city hall that would ban tar sands from the city.
David Marshall, Portland city council: “Tar sands oil, in particular, are a concern to the committee due to the fact there’s a lot more carbon involved with the extraction, processing and moving of tar sands in comparison to conventional oil.”
Tar sands are a thick mixture of clay, sand and oil found in some fuel.
Emily Figdor, Environment Maine: “Tar sands oil is dirty and dangerous and does not deliver for Portland. We are so pleased that this leadership is addressing this issue head on.”
The proposed ban is, in part, a response to a plan by Enbridge Pipelines to reverse the flow of one of its pipelines in Canada.
Activists say the move could bring tar sands through Maine via the Montreal-Portland Pipeline that runs near Sebago Lake and Casco Bay.
Supporters of the ban gathered outside the Portland Pipeline headquarters in South Portland Wednesday to bring more attention to the issue.
Bob Klotz, 350 Maine: “It says that they will not take product from any refinery that refines tar sands. That kind of statement is the kind of leadership we need from our elected officials that we haven’t gotten in this climate change denying world we live in.”
These activists realize they have a long road ahead of them, but they’re prepared for the fight.
News 13 reached out to the Portland Pipeline headquarters in South Portland for comment, but have not heard back so far.