TAR SANDS TO PORTLAND? Across Maine To St. John The Real Risk.

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



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????).


About lindsaynewlandbowker

Bowker Associates, Science & Research In The Public Interest, is an independent non profit providing self initiated pro bono analysis on key issues with a potential for massive adverse environmental impact . Bowker Associates has been an internationally recognized and cited voice in analysis of the Samarco failure, its consequence, and the possibilties for recovery. In 2017 we partnered with Daveid M. Chambers, a world leader in responsible mining, in our third joint work on the economics of tailings failures. Bowker, L.N.; Chambers, D.M. In the Dark Shadow of the Supercycle Tailings Failure Risk & Public Liability Reach All Time Highs. Environments 2017, 4, 75. http://www.mdpi.com/2076-3298/4/4/75 A peer reviewed journal published investigation of the cowboy economics of the supercycle and the resulting escalation on the number and magnitude of catastrophic failures. In 2016 we parnered with Dave Chambers in our 2nd joint work together looking at root causes of failures at a conference . Bowker, L.N.; Chambers, D.M. Root Causes of Tailings Management Failures: The Severity of Consequence of Failures Attributed to Overtopping 1915–2015. In Proceedings of the Protections 2016, Fort Collins, CO, USA, 14 June 2016. [Google Scholar] In 2015 Bowker Associates collaborated with geophysicist David M. Chambers to recompile global authoritative accounts of significant TSF failures in recorded history and to analyze these data in the context of global mining economics 1910-2010 ( Risk, Economics and Public Liability of TSF Failures, Bowker/Chambers July 2015) The third annual update of this globally referenced and used compilation was just released at Researchgate. (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324594429_World_Tailings_Dam_Failures_From_1915_-_as_of_Mar_31_2018) In 2014 Bowker Associates commissioned globally respected geophysicist and hydrogeologist Dr. David Chambers to undertake two technical works: (1) development of technical go no go criteria for vetting mine applications tp://lindsaynewlandbowker.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/a-new-statutory-regulatory-framework-for-responble-sulfide-mining-should-this-mine-be-built/ and (2) a case study of Maine's Bald Mountain, an un mined low grade high risk VMS deposit demonstrating the efficacy and accuracy of two risk assessment tools in vetting mine proposals https://lindsaynewlandbowker.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/mountain-x-would-you-issue-a-permit-to-this-mine/ In Maine, Bowker Associates has deeply engaged and been a public voice in the Searsport DCP LPG Tank, The Cianbro proposal for a Private East West Toll Road, JD Irvings rolling pipeline of Bakken crude to its plant in St. John and review of Phase II plans at The Callahan Superfund site in Brooksville, Maine, and Maine's revisitation of mining in statute and regulation... Our only “client”: is always “the pubic interest”. Our model is to focus on only one or two issues at a time so that we have a substantive command of the relevant field as our foundation for ongoing engagement. Our core work is in envirommental risk management, science and technology as well as bringing any available “best practices” models to the fore. The legal and regulatory history/best models are also a major thrust of our work in building and evaluating public policy. Director/Principal Lindsay Newland Bowker, CPCU, ARM is a recognized expert in Environmental Risk Management., Heavy Construction Risk Management and Marine and Transit Risks and has more than 3 decades of engagement in buiding public policy. Appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to New York State Banking Board (served 1986-1996); President New York Chapter Chartered Property and Casualty Insurers; Environmental Committee, Risk and Insurance Management Society; Director, Convenor/Co-Chair Bermuda Market Briefing "From Captive to Cats" Hamilton Bermuda. Published Articles of Significance The Risk Economics and Public Liability of Tailings Facility Failures, co-authored with David M. Chambers, July 2015 Beyond. Polarization: Superfund Reform in Perspective, Risk & Insurance Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Cost Control (Jan. 24, 1997). Lead Hazards and Abatement Technologies in Construction: A Risk Management Approach CPCU Journal 1997 Employee Leasing: Liability in Limbo Risk Management June 1 1997 Environmental Audit Privilege and the Public interest Risk & Insurance Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Cost Control, April 1997 Asbestos:Holes In Abatement Policies Need To Be Plugged, Lloyd’s Environmental Risk International, May 1993 Editor Published Letters Evironmental Risk Management Beware of Facile Policies Like Fetal Protection Business Insurance 1995(?) High Court Review May Increase Sale of Bank Annuities Business Insurances August 8, 1995 Professional Profiles Protecting the Big Apple’s Core Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Control December 1996 Major Career Highlights First rigorous analysis showing Relationship Between declining ore grades and TSF Failures of increasing consequence ( July 2015) FIrst Documentation that Gentrification Has Same Impacts as Unassisted Displacement from Urban Renewal Sites Direted Court Ordered EIS of FHA Mortgage Scandal Created Nation's First Homeownership Program for Low Income People (SHIP) Created Earliest Geographic Information Systems Using Defense Technology Developed By IBM Designed and Conducted Parallel Census Count to Show Systematic undercount in minority neighborhoods Documented Bias in ISO Territory Rating Plans for Private Passenger Auto Insurance Using ISO's own Rating Techniques Demonstrated Inherent Bias in Mortgage Policies of Banks With Inner City Branches Demonstrated that NY Telephones Plan for Area Code Split To accommodate anticipated cell phone demand was not efficient and would exhaust in 5 years ( which it did) Undertook First Systematic Evaluation of Child Protective Services Caseload Using Multi Variate Analyic Techniques Developed Child Protective Caseload Management and Tracking System (CANTS) and directed implementation in 4 client states including Illinois, Florida and New York Created and Ran Office of Risk Management for NYC DEP the Nations largest Water & Sewer Authority . Designed, Created and Administered Nation's First Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP)for High Risk Tunneling Education Masters NYU Graduate School of Public Administration BSC New School For Social Research Maine Public Schools Deering High School
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One Response to TAR SANDS TO PORTLAND? Across Maine To St. John The Real Risk.

  1. Adriaan Kamp says:

    Dear Lyndsay,Thank you for sharing your concerns- on the energy issues facing your state.What can I say?I agree with you that a healthy, pro-active, open dialogue on the options open to your State (what fuels to accept, what to transport and why) can help the process,and alleviate some of the unhealthy practices of lobbyists, interest groups, politicians and corporations.But you have to accept – that such a State-wide platform on Energy and Energy Transition, and shared among the key stakeholders- may actually decide against your points of view.But what is to be gained is a new form of consensus building, and a better and more healthier form of deciding what is going where and why.I hope that you can rally along such a position. A position to renew and refresh the constellation (and criteria!!) by which decisions are being taken.I am reacdy and available to you- for more suggestions or help,Adriaan Kamp

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