Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Tar Sands Oil Shipments Could Be Blocked by Maine City

The city council of South Portland, Maine, is expected to take a final vote Monday night on a measure to ban bulk loading of crude oil for export — a move that could block future shipments of Canadian tar sands oil from the port.

Community members and activists have been pushing the proposal to keep South Portland’s oil terminals, which have for decades imported oil for transport on the Portland-Montreal pipeline, from being used to export oil produced from Alberta tar sands. Canada’s National Energy Board approved reversal of a Canadian portion of the Portland-Montreal pipeline in March.

The measure to block loading crude oil was developed after voters rejected an attempt last year to block using the pipeline to bring tar sands into the city, the Portland Press Herald reports.

Members of Congress have been concerned with the potential pipeline reversal. In April, the New Hampshire delegation sent a letter to the State Department urging that environmental reviews be conducted before any such reversal.

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