Quarterly Director Update
Talk about David and Goliath: against incredible odds, a group of Mainers in South Portland have taken on Big Oil—and won. In late July, the South Portland City Council voted 6-1 to pass the Clear Skies Ordinance, the first-of-its kind ordinance that blocks a tar sands terminal on the shores of Casco Bay and would have polluted the air and transformed the coastline with two 70-foot smokestacks.
This victory is HUGE. Tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil in the world, and we’ve seen neighborhoods devastated by ruptured pipelines in Mayflower, Ark. and Kalamazoo, Mich. Here in New England, ExxonMobil has proposed pumping tar sands oil through the aging pipeline that runs from Montreal through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, dangerously close to Sebago Lake, the drinking water source for all of Southern Maine.
It has been an honor to work alongside Protect South Portland for the past year and a half as they waged what might be the most impressive citizen-led campaign Maine has ever seen. Despite the American Petroleum Institute spending thousands of dollars to thwart the grassroots effort, people power won through thousands of door knocks and phone calls, hearings and strategy sessions that lasted late into the night, and potluck after potluck after potluck. Our work with Protect South Portland and other partners has shown all of Maine and the world that citizens working together can accomplish big things.
I’m certain Big Oil will fight back, but I’m also filled with hope and optimism. Everyday citizens joining together to organize their community can win, and through winning we can change the world.
Thank you for all your support!
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