The South Portland City Council is evaluating the need to protect our city from the potential impact of tar sands oil. This is a positive and important step. The recent election was close, and many residents who voted against the Waterfront Protection Ordinance do not want tar sands oil in South Portland. This is an opportunity for the City Council to take action that will protect our city.
Think a moment about Bug Light Park. I often ride my bike there and sit on a bench enjoying the spectacular scenery and fresh air. The website for the annual Bug Light 5K Run & Walk describes it as being “In Celebration of Livable, Healthy & Historic South Portland.” These values are integral to the vision of South Portland as described in the Comprehensive Plan. But I ask you, how are two, 70-foot smokestacks spewing toxic chemicals from tar sands oil into the air, right next to Bug Light, consistent with that vision of a livable and healthy South Portland?
Our only chance to keep Bug Light Park and South Portland tar sands free is for the City Council to pass an ordinance that will accomplish that goal. I hope that the moratorium that is being considered will be passed. I encourage citizens to come to the South Portland City Council meeting on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., when there will be a discussion and vote on the moratorium.