The South Portland city council did decide to block heavy crude exports from its harbor. The result of a campaign by green groups to prevent the flow of oil from Alberta through a pipeline to the port.
That doesn’t mean it’s the last word on the subject and the whole exercise may have been a waste of time. Petroleum industry groups say they will fight to overturn the ban, while securities analysts dismissed the importance of the measure, arguing there are other routes to get the oil to the East Coast.
The city that houses the third-largest oil port on the U.S.’s eastern seaboard is expected to vote today on a permanent ban on oil sands shipments.
The city council in South Portland, Maine, instituted a moratorium on oil sands product last fall, and in an initial 6-to-1 vote in early July, voted to make the ban permanent.
South Portland is at the southern end of the Portland Montreal Pipeline, which has been shipping oil north to Canada since the 1940s.
Portland Pipeline Corp., which operates the U.S. side of the pipeline, had reportedly been looking at reversing the pipeline flow to bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands to South Portland, in order to bring it to overseas export markets.
But during council deliberations, the pipeline company said it had no plans to import oil from Canada, the South Portland Current reported.
The ban is part of the city’s Clear Skies Ordinance, which is expected to come to a final vote at city council on July 21.
South Portland voters rejected a proposed ban on oil sands product in a referendum last fall, narrowly defeating the measure by 200 votes.