Peter Vigue: listen closely

Letters to the Portland Phoenix editors, August 31, 2012
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  August 29, 2012

A QUESTION FOR VIGUE

In May when I asked Peter Vigue at the County Commissioner's meeting in Dover-Foxcroft about the potential for a tar sands oil pipeline in the proposed East-West Corridor (see "Tar Sands Disaster," by Deirdre Fulton, August 17) he dismissed the question and sneered "Why would anyone want to build a pipeline to the East Coast? Have you seen where Alberta, Canada is? It is much closer to go to the West Coast."

In January, Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister, indicated that Canada would redirect oil that had been destined for Gulf Coast refineries to other countries, particularly China, after the Keystone XL pipeline was blocked by the US.

In May Enbridge Energy, a Canadian oil transporter, announced a $3 billion plan called Eastern Access to enable pipeline development to the East Coast and applied for permission to reverse the flow of oil through an existing pipeline running from Portland, Maine to Montreal requesting special permission to upgrade the pipes to allow the increased pressure needed for pumping tar sands oil (from Montreal to Portland).

In July the Chinese oil giant Cnooc Ltd closed a $15.1 billion deal to buy Canada-based oil developer Nexen Inc. They have expressed interest in shipping the oil offshore through the East Coast.

It seems to me that Mr. Vigue did not do his homework. So, I ask again, Mr. Vigue, what do you think of the potential for tar sands oil from Alberta being shipped through Maine in a pipeline? Is this the true purpose of the expanded "utility corridor" which you propose to build through the heart of Maine?

LESLEY FERNOW
DOVER-FOXCROFT

 

THANK YOU, MR. VIGUE!

I have lived in Maine for almost 40 years, and in all that time, I have never had so many terrific interactions with my neighbors as I have had in the past six months. We have gathered many times, to hear and speak about ideas and solving problems. The groups have included people of all ages, genders, origins, and political persuasions, yet we've felt we had something in common that we could all agree on — that none of us want a 220-mile long corridor to cut our state in half. (See "What's Driving the East-West Highway," by Lance Tapley, May 4.) It has been a refreshing change, an opportunity for civil discourse. In the process, we've found we have more in common than we thought, on many other issues as well, and for this I sincerely thank you!

PATTI DOWSE
CAMBRIDGE

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