Governors Must Take a Stand Against Tar Sands

Citizens, towns and organizations have taken a stand against tar sands oil, the climate polluting oil-of-last-resort from Canada that Exxon Mobil and Enbridge want to bringinto Northern New England’s pristine back country and waterways.


Now it is time for governors to take a stand.

This town meeting day, 17 towns across New England joined the growing movement to reject tar sands oil and stand up for wildlife. The number of towns that have passed resolutions is now 51.

Oil interests spend $600,000 in South Portland campaign


The dueling campaigns over the Waterfront Protection Ordinance are on track to be among the most costly local referendums in recent history.

By Matt Byrne
Staff Writer

Opponents of the South Portland ballot proposal have outspent backers by almost 6 to 1.

The group representing oil-handling terminals and waterfront businesses in South Portland has spent more than $600,000 to defeat the controversial Waterfront Protection Ordinance, according to financial disclosure information filed Friday.


Pipeline safety expert finds "high risk of Line 9 rupture" if National Energy Board approves Enbridge’s reversal plan

Coalition of environmental groups call for rejection of Line 9 reversal proposal

Montreal/Toronto - August 9th 2013 – Evidence submitted this week to the National Energy Board (NEB) regarding Enbridge’s application to reverse its Line 9 oil pipeline through Quebec and Ontario raised new concerns about the safety of the project.

International pipeline safety expert, Richard Kuprewicz, concluded that: 

·         There is a high risk that Line 9 will rupture in the early years following project implementation due a combination of cracking and corrosion.

·         Enbridge’s approach to pipeline safety management for this pipeline will not prevent rupture under the operating conditions resulting from the implementation of the project.

TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline will face fierce opposition, vows Council of Canadians

Media Release August 1, 2013

In response to TransCanada’s announcement of its Energy East project, the Council of Canadians is launching a national campaign to stop the pipeline. The Council of Canadians argues the pipeline is not safe, is unlikely to provide energy security for Atlantic Canadians or generate decent jobs. The project would see TransCanada convert part of their Mainline gas pipeline (built in the 1950’s), to ship oil, including diluted bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands, to Atlantic Canada.

“While using an existing pipeline may reduce TransCanada’s costs, it increases spill risks for the many rivers, lakes and communities along the route,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “The disastrous pipeline spills in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Mayflower, Arkansas highlight the dangers of shipping tar sands crude and using an older pipeline not originally built for carrying oil.”

Maine Voices: Unconventional crude too big a risk to be piped through Maine

Special to the Press Herald

PORTLAND — On July 25, 2010, more than 1 million gallons of oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. On July 25, 2013, much of this oil remained, polluting the riverbed and surrounding communities. It is the worst oil pipeline spill in U.S. history, with costs from the ongoing cleanup expected to soon top $1 billion.

On March 29, 2013, more than 200,000 gallons of oil spilled into a residential area and contaminated the popular Lake Conway in Mayflower, Ark.

These pipelines were carrying very heavy, unconventional crude oil derived from Canadian tar sands deposits.

There have been actions to bring such a tar sands pipeline through the state of Maine.

Unlike other sources of crude oil, tar sands is thick, gritty and sinks in water. It is processed with other chemicals until it is liquid enough to transport. The resulting mixture is called diluted bitumen, or "dilbit."

Stories from the Tar Sands Walk in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom

The second annual Tar Sands Free Kingdom Walk is over. Of course, there are feelings of satisfaction, relief and exhaustion. But also a strong sense of longing, of missing the solid shared purpose we held together over those two days. How can I convey what a wonderful, important experience this was?

Twenty-five of us walked out of North Troy, VT (near the Canadian border) on Friday morning, following the route of the Portland-Montreal Pipeline. We were honoring the land, celebrating the communities of the Northeast Kingdom and calling attention to plans for transporting tar sands products through this old pipeline. We had six energetic orange-clad Climate Summer bike riders along with us for logistical support. It was to be 18 miles to Irasburg on main roads, farm lanes and snowmobile trails. We set off down VT 105 to the joyous music of the Bread and Puppet Marching Band, who walked with us for the first mile or so. What a great send-off! 

’Nobody understands’ spills at Alberta tar sands operation


Oil spills at a major oil sands operation in Alberta have been ongoing for at least six weeks and have cast doubts on the safety of underground extraction methods, according to documents obtained by the Star and a government scientist who has been on site.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has been unable to stop an underground oil blowout that has killed numerous animals and contaminated a lake, forest, and muskeg at its operations in Cold Lake, Alta.

The documents indicate that, since cleanup started in May, some 26,000 barrels of bitumen mixed with surface water have been removed, including more than 4,500 barrels of bitumen.

The scientist said Canadian Natural Resources is not disclosing the scope of spills in four separate sites, which have been off bounds to media and the public because the operations are on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, where there is active weapons testing by the Canadian military.

The company says it is effectively managing and cleaning up the spills.

Access to Information request reveals Enbridge will delay required crude oil pipeline safety fix for three more years

  Media ReleaseJuly 18, 2013

The Council of Canadians has learned that Enbridge pipelines across Canada will not be retrofitted for another three years, despite missing key safety systems for decades. This neglect has the potential to increase the magnitude of any future spills. 

In response to an Access to Information request, the National Energy Board (NEB) has released a partially-redacted document titled “Alternative Power Source Corrective Action Plan Development.” The document details Enbridge’s attempts to come into compliance with the NEB’s Onshore Pipelines Regulations, which require back-up power sources capable of operating the emergency shut-down systems at pipeline pumping stations.