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U.S. advocates wary of East Coast pipeline

Oct. 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Environmental advocacy groups said they were concerned about plans by Exxon Mobil to pipe tar sands oil through eastern U.S. states along the Canadian border.

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. Portland Montreal Pipe Line Co. is an entity made up of independent companies Portland Pipe Line Corp. and Montreal Pipeline Ltd.

Johanna Miller, director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, said Exxon Mobil holds a majority interest in PPL. Environmental groups say any relationship between Exxon, responsible for a 1989 oil disaster in Alaska, and Enbridge, responsible for a major oil spill in Michigan in 2010, is cause for concern.

National Wildlife Federation Senior Counsel Jim Murphy said the pipeline represents a "double whammy" when considering potential environmental damage.

Maine lawmakers this year passed a non-binding resolution supporting the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Critics say that type of oil is the dirtiest form of crude available though supporters say the pipelines are good for energy security and employment.

PMPL at one point said it was putting the project on hold because of "economic and market conditions."

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