On Thursday afternoon, the Canadian National Energy Board ruled in favor of a project that will allow tar sands oil to flow east from Alberta Provence to Montreal, Quebec.
Environmental groups in Maine believe the decision paves the way for energy companies to seek to have tar sands oil flow from Canada to Casco Bay via the Portland Montreal Pipeline.
"Up until this point, the line that comes from Alberta down towards the New England border has not been able to carry tar sands," explained Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. "So it is literally now at our doorstep."
"We really need to take this latest move seriously," said Pohlmann.
She is urging Mainers to contact Senator Susan Collins, the only member of Maine's congressional delegation that has not called upon the State Department to do a full environmental review were the pipeline company [to] seek permits to move tar sands through Maine. (Emphasis added.)
The pressure from NRCM comes at a sensitive time for Collins, a Keystone pipeline supporter who was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters in 2008 despite having a lower rating on the organization's own scorecard than her Democratic opponent.
With Sierra Club recently declining to back the 18-year incumbent, it remains an open question whether and to what extent left-leaning interest groups will again be willing--as they were during the 2008 campaign cycle--to greenwash the senior senator's record in exchange for a (momentary) bolstering of their bipartisan credentials.
(Photo by FeatheredTar.)