Letter: Pipeline owner shouldn't sit on South Portland panel

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I was raised in mid-coast Maine, but South Portland has been my home for the past 10 years. It’s nice to be a short ride to work in Portland and nicer to come home and take my dog for long walks on Willard Beach and at Bug Light Park. Like most people, I’m generally aware on political issues and candidates, but I work long hours, live my life and don’t usually get involved with local politics. Until I learned about tar sands oil.

Thanks to the Protect South Portland citizens group and local politicians, we’ve become well informed on the danger tar sands oil poses to our environment. Having said that, I’m worried. Our zoning remains the same as when Portland Pipe Line held city and state permits to reverse the pipeline and start pumping tar sands oil out of our port. Now, the City Council and Planning Board agree, no tar sands. They’re working on a new ordinance to keep us tar sands free, but I’ve also learned that Portland Pipe Line may have a strong voice on a committee to help write the new zoning laws. We can’t let that happen. If there was ever a time to support our city government and have a voice, it’s now. They need us and our future depends on it. We need to protect the lives we’ve built and come to love in this amazing city.

Elena McMahan
South Portland