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Some South Dakota farmers are unhappy with industrial ag getting conservation funds; Texas judge allows abortion in Cox case; Native tribes express concern over Nevada's clean energy projects.

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The Colorado Supreme Court weighs barring Trump from office, Georgia Republicans may be defying a federal judge with a Congressional map splitting a Black majority district and fake electors in Wisconsin finally agree Biden won there in 2020.

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Texas welcomes more visitors near Big Bend but locals worry the water won't last, those dependent on Colorado's Dolores River fear the same but have found common ground solutions, and a new film highlights historical healthcare challenges in rural Appalachia.

Tar Sands Pipeline Project “Slinking Forward” Towards Maine

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Friday, December 7, 2012   

PORTLAND, Maine – Two days of training for cleaning up tar sands oil spills were held this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) in Portland with the Maine DEP, the EPA and the Coast Guard all involved.

Still, no one has said publicly that crude from Western Canada will be sent down a 236-mile pipeline across New England.

The Portland Pipe Line Corporation says it has no current plans to reverse the flow on the Portland to Montreal leg and send down tar sands oil, but the cleanup training makes environmentalist Dylan Voorhees skeptical.

"And so what's fascinating about this – which of course is a commendable preparedness action – is that it's happening in the midst of denials."

Voorhees is with the Natural Resources Council of Maine. He says the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge last Friday applied to reverse the flow of its pipeline to Montreal to bring oil west to east, further evidence, he says, that the project is "slinking forward" while avoiding environmental reviews.

Wildlife biologist Eric Orff warns that the abrasive form of crude would threaten the 62-year-old pipeline itself, and that spills could contaminate the water in Maine or the other New England states it passes through.

"So you're looking at additional – we think – stresses on the pipeline, a pipeline that's already 62 years old and certainly has not been designed, never was designed for this purpose."

Dylan Voorhees suspects deliberate evasiveness.

"There hasn't been a full environmental review of what this could mean to the New England states, and we're in danger of this sort of slinking forward in bits and pieces without any environmental review."

A new National Wildlife Federation report says spills, like one in Michigan two years ago, could contaminate water and harm wildlife. The report comes shortly before the Obama administration is expected to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in the middle of the country.




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