PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)—After much controversy and discussion, the South Portland City Council will take a final vote on the proposal to ban tar sands oil Monday night.
More than two years ago, environmental groups started speaking out against the potential plans to move tar sands oils via a pipeline that would run from South Portland to Canada. Members of the Natural Resources Council of Maine said because President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, Canadian oil companies were looking for other ways to export tar sands oil — an oil the NRC of Maine said is “more acidic and corrosive…and is piped at higher temperatures and higher pressures, which only increases the risk of oil spills.”
Jump ahead to Wednesday, July 9 and the South Portland City Council approved the Clear Skies Ordinance, which blocks the bulk loading of crude oil. People from both sides showed up wearing t-shirts; opponents of the ordinance wore red shirts and included members of the Working Waterfront Coalition.They said they believe the ordinance would hurt future economic development along this waterfront. They also said environmental concerns are overstated. Supporters wore blue t-shirts.
The South Portland City Council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center Gym, but there is likely to be much public comment so the final vote on the Clear Skies Ordinance may occur closer to 11:00 or even later.