Demonstrators braved freezing temperatures on January 23 to urge legislators in the New England states to “freeze” proposals for shipping tar sands bitumen oil from Alberta, through ExxonMobil pipelines leading to Portland, Maine. A protest demonstration in Portland, Maine, is scheduled for January 26. This event is expected to be the largest cross-border pipeline action the northeast has ever seen. More on this event at http://www.tarsandsfreene.org/about Map of pipeline route: http://tinyurl.com/bkcthzx.
Because the project would be a substantial modification of the current pipeline crossing, opponents are demanding that first, a presidential permit be required, per State Department Executive order 11423, as well as a complete environmental impact statement which includes an analysis of the tar sands climate impact. Scientists have found that extracting and burning tar sands will cause catastrophic global warming.
Then President Obama must keep Tar Sands out of New England by refusing to issue this pipeline a new Presidential Permit.
Also this month, groups of citizens mobilized by 350MA are visiting their local Congressional offices with an explicit “ask”: that the elected official publicly take a stand against projects that would transport tar sands oil in the U.S., particularly the proposed Northeast Tar Sands Pipeline. On Jan.14, for example, ten people met with a staff person in Congressman Markey’s Medford, MA, office to ask that Congressman Markey take all necessary steps to block development of tar sands oil pipelines and make a public statement committing to: “No tar sands oil pipelines. Not in the Northeast. Not anywhere.” The participants emphasized the urgency of taking a stand as ExxonMobil, the majority owner of the Portland-to-Montreal pipeline, is moving forward with plans to reverse flow to accommodate Canadian tar sands oil shipped from Alberta. The pipeline currently ships conventional crude from Portland to Montreal. If allowed, the company would be able to export tar sands through the east coast.