Trailbreaker Pipeline

You’ve heard of Keystone XL and TransCanada. You’ve heard of the national uprising over this enormous plan to transport tar sands straight through the United States. But have you heard of Enbridge’s Trailbreaker Pipeline? Have you heard of the the plan to pump tar sands through New England?

Enbridge, the largest oil exporter in Canada, wants to transport tar sands from Montreal, through NH, VT, ME, and down to Portland. A pipeline along this route already exists, but it carries regular oil. The Trailbreaker plan is to reverse the flow of the pipeline and transport tar sands instead.

This proposal poses a great threat to the Northeast.Tar sands is up to 70 times more viscous than conventional oil. The pipeline was not originally built to transport tar sands, and the high viscosity will corrode the pipeline metal. This means that there is a higher chance of spills, endangering dozens of precious ecosystems. Sebago Lake, the second largest lake in Maine and a main drinking water source for Portland, is one example of a region in danger. Furthermore, Enbridge has divided the pipeline into smaller sections so that approval processes can proceed more quickly and under the radar.

US and Canadian NGO’s have launched a campaign to oppose the Trailbreaker pipeline. A main goal is to educate people about this plan, and spread the word. I am interning with the Sierra Club this summer to organize community meetings around Maine, involve youth, and educate people about this proposal. I wanted to start by writing this blog post. So here is a more information for you:

http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Regional/Northeast/KeystoneTrailbeaker4pgr_0412_06.ashx 

http://www.sierraclub.org/dirtyfuels/tar-sands/field-maine.pdf

http://www.foe.org/news/blog/2012-04-stop-the-new-england-tar-sands-oil-pipeline

More information to come!

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