Letter: Piping tar sands is 'courting disaster'

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Portland Pipe Line Corp. is one of the most respected businesses in our area. The company has acted responsibly over these many years to preserve and protect our water, while shipping in oil – and our land, while piping out the crude to be refined.

However, even Portland Pipe Line cannot control the forces of nature. The Portland-Montreal pipeline passes so close to Sebago Lake that if an earthquake or a tornado should rupture it, the oil will flow into the main drinking-water source for this region of the state. Cleaning up a spill of regular crude oil would be a monumental task. Current experience indicates that clean up of a tar sands oil spill would be almost impossible.

It is surely courting disaster for this region to bring tar sands oil through either the pipeline, or even a newly constructed conduit. Major destructive weather occurrences like fierce tornados are no longer just possible. They are probable.

All of us have to act responsibly in order to protect our communities from the aftermaths of weather ravages. One way to do this is to avoid unmanageable risks such as the trans-shipment of tar sands oil into our midst. We have to avoid the song of the Pied Piper, offering more jobs as a benefit for taking the risks. Be assured. If we pollute our water and air – the very sources which sustain our lives – we won’t need jobs.

Dolores and Merle Broberg

South Portland