Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Vermont Voters Say "No" to Athabasca Bitumen

The people of Vermont want nothing to do with Athabasca bitumen being piped through their state.    29 towns, including Montpelier and Burlington, have passed resolutions opposing the proposed transport of bitumen.
The main purpose of this effort was to challenge proposed changes to an aging oil pipeline that could have a serious impact on Vermont and our entire region. Recent weeks have seen visits to our state capitol by the CEO of the pipeline company – owned by ExxonMobil's Canadian subsidiary – along with environmental officials from Alberta, confirming long-standing suspicions that companies are aiming to push forward with plans to use this old pipeline to pump tar sands oil from across the continent through northern New England.

The Portland-Montreal Pipeline was built more than 50 years ago and now imports up to 400,000 barrels of oil a day from the port of Portland, Maine to customers in Montreal and beyond, passing through ten northern Vermont towns. It is connected to a vast oil pipeline network across Canada, and companies like Enbridge – a main owner of Vermont’s largest electric utility, Green Mountain Power – are aiming to reverse the flow of a now-unused section of pipeline so they can transport highly corrosive and toxic material from the tar sands to be shipped out of Portland to Gulf refineries and to overseas customers.

The Alberta Tar Sands are far away, but the impacts of mining there are global in scope. By approving this resolution, Vermont voters have resoundingly supported efforts throughout North America and beyond to prevent the continued expansion of the tar sands catastrophe, along with worldwide campaigns to expose and challenge all forms of “extreme energy” extraction.

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