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PNS Daily Newscast - September 21, 2018 


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New Englanders Rally to Oppose Tar Sands Pipeline

A tar sands pipeline which burst in 2010 contaminated Michigan's Kalamazoon River. Protests are being held around New England against using a 62-year-old pipeline to move Canadian tar sands to Portland for export. Photo courtesy NWF
A tar sands pipeline which burst in 2010 contaminated Michigan's Kalamazoon River. Protests are being held around New England against using a 62-year-old pipeline to move Canadian tar sands to Portland for export. Photo courtesy NWF
January 28, 2013

NASHUA, N.H. - Demonstrations, pickets at gas stations and a march and rally in Portland, Maine, on Saturday capped off a week of actions from Canada to Maine aimed at heading off an oil company's plans to pump corrosive Canadian tar sands oil across New England and into ships for export.

The series of protests over what some see as a threat to water and wildlife in the region included a demonstration where the pipeline crosses the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. It culminated at Portland's Maine State Pier on Saturday, where Vermont-based activist Dave Stember says the frigid weather was no deterrent.

"The beginning of the rally was 12 degrees," he said. "It was amazing. The police said we had 1,500 people; it's hard to know what the numbers were, but we had way more than we expected."

The Canadian company, Enbridge, denies it has plans to reverse the flow of the existing pipeline that carries oil from Portland to Montreal. But protestors say they see signs of the company's intention to do just that, and therefore they will continue to fight a move they say would subject New England to risk with no reward.

Carol Oldham with the National Wildlife Federation says New Hampshire residents are worried about the 62-year-old pipeline.

"It crosses 79 waterways in New Hampshire alone, and it could have a really significant impact on the tourism industry, as well as people's own back yards."

Stember questions why New England should help Canada export tar sands oil from its Western provinces.

"The conduit goes through our region," he declared. "We take all of the risks; we get none of the value. The only real argument you could make for it is that it'd be good for the profits for the oil company."

Demonstrators called on elected officials and the U.S. State Department to require a new Presidential Permit application and full environmental review.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NH