Tar Sands to Portland?
I don’t think so. Not crude-bitumen anyway(dilbit) like the western Trans Canada Pipeline. It would almost certainly be carrying refined tar sands synthetic crude or refined fuel product from Suncor’s Sarnia Ontario. That is perfectly clear on even a cursory analysis of what is actually going on in Canada. And even that isn’t likely as the needed pump station for flow reversal on the Portland Montreal pipeline , which connects to the Enbridge #9 in Montreal , was blocked by the Canadian government. Unless another location for the station can be found, that is final. If the Portland Montreal pipeline were reversed there is no significant difference between refined tar sands crude (syncrude) and ordinary crude already traveling south to north through that pipeline. It is essentially the same risk. No difference, spill risks & spill hazards between the refined fuel product and other fuel product alreday being transmitted throughout Maine in pipeline
But there is a. huge difference in “well to wheel” carbon foot print beween existing heavy crude based fuel product and tar sands fuel product. Accepting tar sands into our fuel supply is abandoning our commitment to a lower carbon foot print for Maine and for America.
There is plenty of good reason for all of us to be united against tar sands period. But let’s be precise and accurate about our reasons, united and collaborative in our solutions, and above all let’s be part of those solutions. There is plenty of good reason to oppose a state or national policy that encourages and supports tar sands extraction and refinement in any form. The U.S. is alreday importing over 1 million barrels of tar sands synthetic crude per day for refining to fuel and other product.Any commitment to tar sands oil delays our essential transition totally to renewable fuels within two decades. Extraction is costly squandering and spoiling 70 barrels of water for 1 barrel of bitumen. Its refinement expels more Co2 than our fragile global atmosphere can stand.”Well to Wheel” tar sand crude emissionsis are up to 1.7 times higher than other crude oil sources. How many tax payer $ supported that processing facility in Port Arthur to which the tar sand pipeline was to connect? Who granted that emissions permit and why?
Let’s be clear and united and well informed on what we oppose and why. Let’s be collaborative and creative in building policy that expresses that instead of just reacting to, and protesting against projects or law that advanced behind closed doors while we were busy protesting somewhere else.
Yes, let’s be united in one state wide voice against allowing any tar sands product, including synthetic crude or crude bituemen to cross the state of Maine. But does it make sense to wait for the lobbyist written legsilation that will facilitate that and then protest that? Doesn’t it make more sense to be there first ahead of rhe lobbyists writing the legislation that will keep crude-bitumen out of Maine?
That is going to happen. If we don’t do something soon legislatively to prevent it, that will surely happen. But it is not going to happen Montreal to Portland. It will be Quebec to St. John (.http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/01/11/nb-mckenna-refine-oil-saint-john.html) Trans Canada , in partnership with Irving Oil, have gotten a go ahead from Ottawa on their $5 billion pipeline from Alberta to Quebec and posisbly on to St. Johns.. That’s what we need to be wattch here in Maine. ( http://truth-out.org/news/item/8213-northeast-markets-eyed-for-oil-sands-as-c… of national Canadian policy) Portland Maine
Irving is also the moving force behind the enbridge # 9 reverals and that may put Portland in the cross hairs or sybcrdude north to south if they secure the punping station.
Some of the essential front end work to facilitate a transcanada pipeline across Maine has already been done by the Maine Forest Products Council, Pierce Atwood and the speculative land owner lobby in the UT with the slice and dice reorganization of LUPC and DEP. How that might happen is apparent in the now temporarily off the table East West Highway.
Let’s be clear and well informed on what is happening in Canada so we can better anticipate what might happen here in Maine and when.
(1) The reversal of the Enbridge pipeline#9 is about energy security in Canada.and about getting finsied product out of SunCor;s Sarnia plant to market ( jet fuel, gas, diesel fuel, etc.) or syncrude to eastern canada refineries… Right at the terminus of Endbrige, Suncor has its own refinersies to process thesynthetic crude to product… Suncor is part owner of the Montreal Pipeline Ltd ( majority owner Imperial a wholly owned subsiiary of Exxon Mobil)
(2) . So yes, if the MontrealPipeline LTD ( parent of the Portland-Montreal Pipeline) can overcome the denial of the pumping station they would obviously be interested in moving their refined tars sands synthetic crude to Portland but there is no possibility they would move unprocessed crude-bitumen through Maine that way without adding value at their own refineries first. It just makes no sense. They are creating syncrude close to the extraction in Alberta. Everything leaving Alberta is syncrude.
(3) Suncor is looking West for exports to Asian markets and south for processing and export out of the gulf as front burner.Maine is not necessarily considered key except for export of synthetic crude.Trans Canada is considering a $5billion repurposing of its existing peipleine to carry sybcrude to easter refineries but it is not clear that is feasible.
(4) the meeting with Le Page that connected the dots for many envionmnetalists had to have been about new pipeline crossing Maine to deliver syncrude to St. Johns and just in case we should legsulatively block any possibility of that. My sense though is that Canada does not want any part of its distrubution system to rely on the US because under our treaty agreement we have the right to take that oil for ourselves. Canada wants the entire distrubution system to be on Canadian soil and to its own ports not U.S. ports
Tar sands is alreday moving right across maine by rail to Irvings St john plant. The price spread between tar sands syncrude feedstck and imported oil is big enough to absorb that extra costs of $6 to $12 per barrel. So the syncrude, is alreday getting to Irving and it is already in our fuel suppply at every Irving gas station. I would like to see NRCM and the other envionmnetal groups get behind a statewide boycott of all Irving gas stations to express our united opposition to tar sands inflitrating the US any further and infiltrating Miane any further. I would like to see us all collaboratively and creative ly looking to legsilative barriers to tar sands crossing through Maine. That cannot be on the basis of soil risks because what is crossing and would cross is no worse than what we alreday allow. It has to be based on a “well to wheel” standard, a total emissions centered policy.
So we have a small window of opportunity.. Instead of waiting for the tar sands lobby to finish de regulating northern Maine and then protesting that, why don’t we start now and write our own pro active legislation. In stead of gathering on the streets of Portland let’s gather in Augusta carrying a crowdsourced statute and demanding the kind of private audience with the relevant joint committees that are routinely extended to corporate interests
JULY 6, 2013 MORE ROLLING PIPELINE ACCIDENTS
So why aren’t the environmental groups in Maine calling for a boyott of Irving? Why aren’t they paying any attention at all to the waiting for a mjaor disaster rolling pipeline already carrying Bakken to Irvings St. John’s refinery.??
August 8, 2013 Suncor now Joins Irving in Use of Rolling Pipeline
August 8, 2013 MM& A UnderInsured for Lac Megantic Tragedy & Seeking Protection In Bankruptcy
September 7 2013
Quebec refineries expect to be “north American crude only” within the year.
February 5th 2014
And so it is. The Enbridge 9 has been reversed. Alberta tar sands is headed to Suncor in Montreal to refined and now the question for the New England based activists who have opposed the Enbridge #9 reversal because they believed it would bring Dilbit through Maine & Vermont..what now? What is your campaign now.
WE are all challenged now to get clear and get centered on what it is we believe in and what it is we are campaigning for.
Buying fuel product that comes from Bakken or Alberta on a well to whell basis iis unconscionable. How about we all shift gears now and call for a boycott of Irving and be clear on why. Let’s call for a boycott of all fracked petroleum product, call for divestment from companies that fracking, call for consumer bans ( and no more bottle water at climate change rallies????).