Citing Maine’s ‘home rule authority’ to protect public health, the small city took on Big Oil, which lined up behind a company challenging its tar sands ban. By Sabrina Shankman Inside Climate News news story A federal judge has ruled that the coastal city of South Portland, Maine, did not violate the U.S. Constitution when Read More
Tar Sands Oil
Tar sands oil is the dirtiest and most climate-destructive form of oil in the world. When it spills, it is almost impossible to clean up. There has been a proposal to bring tar sands oil through an existing nearly 70-year-old pipeline in Maine. It crosses some of Maine’s most pristine watersheds and ends at Casco Bay. This plan would put our lakes, rivers, and coastal waters at risk, and threaten communities and drinking water from Sebago Lake along its path. The Natural Resources Council of Maine was the first organization to bring the threat of tar sands to the public’s attention in Maine in 2009, and has been leading on this issue statewide ever since.
Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest forms of energy on the planet and is a growing threat in Maine and the Northeast. Extracted from huge open-pit mines in Alberta, Canada, tar sands oil is 20% more carbon intensive than conventional crude oil.
Sending tar sands crude oil to Maine would require reversing an existing pipeline owned by Portland Montreal Pipe Line, a pipeline that passes next to Sebago Lake, the drinking water supply for more than 15% of Maine people. It could endanger Casco Bay and our fishing and lobster industries. Many Maine cities and towns passed resolutions in opposition to transporting tar sands oil through their communities, and South Portland passed the Clear Skies Ordinance to protect their community.
June Trial Set for Lawsuit Over South Portland’s “Clear Skies” Law
by Juliette Laaka The Forecaster news story SOUTH PORTLAND — The lawsuit challenging the city’s Clear Skies Ordinance is scheduled to go to trial June 18 in U.S. District Court. The City Council transferred more than half a million dollars to the ordinance defense fund Tuesday in anticipation of the trial, and approved zoning changes Read More
South Portland is Making History with Its Clear Skies Fight
It is yet another battle pitting big energy profits against the public’s right to a safe environment. by Jake A. Plante, resident of Brunswick and author of “Uncle Sam and Mother Earth: Shaping the Nation’s Environmental Path” Portland Press Herald op-ed BRUNSWICK — Sometimes history is made in our own backyard. That’s happening with South Read More
Maine Town Wins Round in Tar Sands Oil Battle With Industry
At the heart of the legal fight between South Portland and a pipeline company is the issue of ‘local control,’ and whether a community can block an energy project. By Sabrina Shankman Inside Climate News news story SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine—A federal judge has handed a win to South Portland, Maine over a pipeline company that Read More
Federal Judge Narrows Portland Pipe Line Case Against South Portland Ordinance
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock ruled against many of the company’s arguments but left open the question whether the ban on crude oil exports interferes with interstate commerce. by Kevin Miller, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald news story A federal judge on Friday largely rejected arguments from Portland Pipe Line Company challenging the legality of Read More
Federal Judge Again Denies South Portland’s Plea to Dismiss Pipeline Company’s Lawsuit
The judge may rule next on the merits of Portland Pipe Line’s challenge to the city’s Clear Skies ordinance, which blocks the flow of Canadian crude oil to South Portland. by Kelley Bouchard, staff writer Portland Press Herald news story Judge John Woodcock Jr. opened his written order issued Tuesday with a weary-sounding reference to Read More
Group Backing South Portland’s Clear Skies Ordinance Gives City $10,000
Protect South Portland says it has raised more than $11,000 to help the city with a court case that has already cost it more than $1 million. by Kelley Bouchard, staff writer Portland Press Herald news story SOUTH PORTLAND — The advocacy group Protect South Portland has raised more than $11,000 through a crowd-funding website Read More
Environmental Group Seeks Private Donations to Help South Portland Fight Pipeline Lawsuit
By Kelley Bouchard, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald news story The group posts a video requesting donations as the city’s legal costs head toward $1 million in the ‘Clear Skies’ ordinance case. SOUTH PORTLAND — A local environmental group has ramped up efforts to help the city defend its so-called Clear Skies ordinance in federal Read More
NRCM Weighs In On Obama Rejection of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Statement of Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine NRCM news release Today, President Obama announced that he has rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would have transported tars sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. “Today’s announcement by President Read More