2014-02-28 / Letters

Reader disagrees with letter writer

To the editor:

I would like to comment on Mr. Lee Humiston’s letter to the editor, dated Feb. 14 and entitled “Consider all facts.”

Before I begin, I would like to extend to him my gratitude and respect for his service to our country. He should be proud.

However, I must disabuse him of two erroneous premises on which he bases his argument of not giving full credence to the issue of keeping tar sands out of our community.

First: Portland Montreal Pipeline is not the decisionmaker on this issue. The larger players are Imperial Oil Limited (an Exxon-Mobil subsidiary) and Suncor Energy which, in large part, own the pipeline. We are not talking about a small local business here, but rather a huge multibillion dollar conglomerate.

These companies are not good neighbors.

Second: Mr. Humiston seems to infer that the tar sands oil that would be pumped through South Portland is slated for U.S. consumption, thereby reducing our dependence on disreputable vendors, such as Venezuela, Nigeria, et al. Unfortunately, this is misinformation propagated by the oil industry. Tar sands oil is destined for overseas, most likely China and/or India. South Portland would be merely used as a port for loading this toxic stew onto cargo ships, after venting into our air a miasma of poisonous particles, including benzene; not to mention the cloud of vapors from storage tanks that would affect nearby schools and our children.

We would take all the risk and receive none of the benefits, while serving simply as a conduit for this sludge.

I agree with Mr Humiston ... consider all facts. But first ensure that they are facts.

William Duffy
South Portland

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