But Glen Brand, director of the Sierra Club’s Maine chapter, points out that assessing the environmental impacts of a project that’s yet-to-be-built (such as Keystone) is far different from evaluating the risks of an older, existing pipeline whose route is already known. “We’re confident if we get [a full environmental review], the project will be denied,” Brand says.
>> In more positive energy-related news, Maine’s USDA Rural Development office just announced almost $80,000 in payments to advanced biofuel companies in the state, including $53,344 for Maine Biofuel, Inc., which is located in Portland. The company collects used cooking oil from nearly 800 restaurants around the state and recycles it into transportation and heating fuels. The remainder of payments were made to wood pellet producers around the state. “In a state like Maine, that’s so strong its natural resource base — in part biomass — [the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program] allows us to support rural businesses and thereby lessen the cost of energy for rural Mainers,” says state director Virginia Manuel. Learn more at rurdev.usda.gov/mE.