North Country News
6:30 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Vermont Communities Say No to Tar Sands Shipments

Tar Sands, Alberta, Canada
Tar Sands, Alberta, Canada
Credit Howlmontreal/Creative Commons-Flickr

More than two dozen Vermont communities passed resolutions on town meeting day expressing opposition to transporting tar sands oil through a pipeline in the state.



The “Keep Vermont Tar Sands Free” resolution expresses concern regarding the risks of transporting tar sands oil; encourages the state to phase out any purchases from vendors who use any form of tar sands; and asks towns to lobby for extensive environmental impact reviews at the state and federal levels.

350-dot-org Campaign Coordinator Andy Simon says 23 towns passed the resolution, seven more brought the issue up from the floor and passed it, and  two towns tabled or determined it irrelevant to town business.

Institute for Social Ecology Director Brian Tokar hopes that the results will influence passage of  a bill in the state legislature that proposes mandating a full state environmental review when there is a significant change in the use of a pipeline.

About 59 miles of pipeline owned by the Portland Pipe Line Corp. cuts thru Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom carrying crude oil.  In an e-mail statement company President and CEO Larry Wilson reaffirmed that  there are no active plans to ship tar sands oil and is disappointed “....that certain towns have adopted resolutions opposing the possible future transport of oil sands-derived crude oil.....”
American Petroleum Institute Vermont Representative Joe Choquette.

None of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom towns where the pipeline is located considered the resolution. The local resolutions are nonbinding.

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