The June 14 article “South Portlanders Petition to put Tar-Sands Project on the Ballot” (by Deirdre Fulton) introduced a citizens’ initiative to prohibit the construction of tar sands infrastructure in South Portland. This effort has been successful, turning in nearly four times the amount of signatures required.

On June 25, President Obama caught up, also taking a stand against tar sands and air pollution with his new Climate Change Action Plan. The announcement introduced standards for carbon pollution from power plants. He also addressed Keystone XL, saying a new tar sands pipeline would only be approved if it would not increase greenhouse gas emissions. We know tar sands releases more planet-warming carbon pollution through mining and consumption than other oil sources. The transport and use of tar sands would not agree with this plan.

I applaud the citizens of South Portland and the President of the United States for taking a definitive stand against climate change. But this is not the end. These initiatives will face much resistance.

I encourage all Mainers to urge Senators King and Collins to support the Climate Change Action Plan. We will need the help of Congress to ensure a safe and clean world for future generations.

ALEXANDER SMITH
PORTLAND

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