Letter: Energy industry deserves thanks, not criticism

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The calendar tells us that spring is here, and though lingering snow banks make it hard to think of warmer temperatures, they will be here soon enough. Spring fever makes it easier to forget all of those bitterly cold winter nights we endured.

Most of us spent those cold winter nights comfortably warm inside our homes, a comfort made possible by the many hard-working people who operate southern Maine’s energy supply chain.

We all see the heating oil trucks traveling our streets, and the delivery drivers plodding their way through snow banks to fill our tanks. They are the front-line soldiers in our annual battle against the elements, but there are many others working behind the scenes to keep a steady flow of energy available to us.

They work around the clock all winter long to keep us warm. They spend long hours away from their families, especially during holidays and severe weather. Much of that time is spent outside in the elements unloading ships, loading trucks, and delivering fuel across our state.

Over the past year, the South Portland terminals have been the target of much criticism and political activism. Their terminal operators have been derided as “Big Oil,” and the employees who work there have had their livelihoods threatened.

It’s easy to overlook the vital role played by the terminals and their employees in allowing us to live comfortably in such a cold climate. I am grateful to have them, and wish to thank them all for their hard work.

Mark Usinger, president
A.L. Griffin