Foes and backers dispute whether there are plans to transport the substance to Casco Bay.
by Beth Quimby and Edward D. Murphy, staff writers
PORTLAND â An estimated 1,400 to 1,500 people marched from Monument Square to the Maine State Pier on Saturday to protest the use of the Portland to Montreal oil pipeline to transport tar sands crude oil to Casco Bay.
Billed as the largest rally against tar sands oil in the Northeast, the protest featured more than a dozen speakers, including Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan.
“I’m going to ask the Obama administration to do a full environmental review of any attempts to pump tar sands through that pipeline,” said Pingree.
The rally was the latest move by tar sands opponents to spread their message that oil companies are planning to move tar sands oil through the 236-mile pipeline that runs from Vermont, through New Hampshire and ends in South Portland.
The producers of tar sands oil and other proponents, including the pipeline owner, the Portland Pipeline Corp., continue to say there is no plan to use the pipeline for tar sands oil and that opponents exaggerate the environmental risks.
Tar sands oil is extracted from sandy soils in western Canada.