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Maine activists protest tar sands pipeline

June 20, 2012 at 7:19 AM

PORTLAND, Maine, June 20 (UPI) -- The potential risks associated with so-called tar sands oil outweigh the economic benefits, environmental groups said from Maine.

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge and Portland Montreal Pipe Line Co. have considered reversing a pipeline so it would carry tar sands oil to Maine ports.

Maine lawmakers this year passed a non-binding resolution supporting the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a tar sands line from Canada to the United States. Critics say that type of oil is the dirtiest form of crude available though supporters say those pipelines are good for energy security and employment.

Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, was quoted by the Bangor (Maine) Daily News as saying tar sands pipeline weren't worth the risk.

"They might hire a couple of guys to work on the docks but that pales in comparison to the impacts on the other jobs that rely on the health of the watershed," he said.

The NRCM joined other environmental advocacy groups in Portland to rally against the pipeline plans.

Portland Montreal Pipe Line at one point said it was putting the project on hold because of "economic and market conditions."

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