Big Update on Tar Sands Fight in Maine: South Portland Citizens to Vote on Ordinance

I’ve written a lot about the proposal plan to transport tar sands oil through Maine. The effects would have ramifications throughout Maine’s economy and also threaten our wildlife, way of life, and history.

The epicenter of the Maine tar sands fight is in South Portland. A group of citizens formed the Concerned Citizens of South Portland  (CCSP) and started collecting signatures for an ordinance that would go on the November 2013 ballot. The ordinance–called the Waterfront Protection Ordinance–would prevent any upgrades to the South Portland pier, an act that would make the pipeline reversal impossible since smokestacks would need to be installed. The CCSP collected 4 times as many signatures as needed to get this issue on the ballot.

A few days ago, the South Portland Planning Board rejected the ordinance (essentially giving an “ok” to the pipeline reversal). This was sobering news.

But yesterday, the South Portland City Council voted to put the ordinance on the November ballot, allowing the citizens of South Portland to decide for themselves. 

This is HUGE news! South Portland citizens have already put in an impressive organizing effort to collect the necessary signatures for the ordinance. Now the power of the people prevails, and citizens will be able to take their fate into their own hands. I have faith that the community of South Portland will vote for the ordinance.

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