Published Date Written by Staff Report
The South Portland City Council on Monday night voted 6-1 to approve a six-month moratorium on exporting "tar sands," the Canadian crude known as diluted bitumen, out of Casco Bay, effective Nov. 6, Environment Maine reported. The City Council will establish a small (likely three-person) committee of land use attorneys or planners to develop a new ordinance, which the City is slated to vote on by May 6.
"We are thrilled that South Portland has taken such a significant step to protect Casco Bay, our coast, our air quality, and our climate from tar sands," said Environment Maine Campaigns Director Taryn Hallweaver. "Never before has a U.S. community taken action that comes so close to stopping a trans-national tar sands pipeline. It's a testament to what we can accomplish when citizens come together, even in the face of the oil industry's deep pockets and enormous political influence."
The temporary moratorium will prevent the off-loading of tar sands onto tanker ships, effectively preventing the reversal of the Portland-Montreal pipeline and the export of tar sands out of Casco Bay, according to a press release.