2014-06-27 / Letters

Ordinance name speaks to its intention

To the editor:

I’ve been involved with Protect South Portland from the time a bunch of concerned citizens gathered 2,000 signatures in order to get our ordinance on the ballet last November. At the time it sounded like a worthy cause, some of the brightest people I knew were involved and I joined trusting that they knew what they were talking about.

It’s been nearly a year now and I’ve sat through dozens of meetings, had conversations with hundreds of people and in the end my original conclusion was confirmed. Tar sands were bad and would do nothing but harm our fair city – environmentally and economically. The only people in support of reversing the pipeline and shipping tar sands from our port were ill informed or connected to Portland Pipeline in some way. They believed not shipping tar sands would hurt our local economy. Not true. It’s simply a lie promoted by big oil.

The beauty of the Clear Skies Ordinance, supported and backed by our illustrious and thoughtful town council, is that nothing changes. Things keep on keeping on as they have been. The oil trucks on Preble Street will continue picking up and delivering oil, the ships will unload and leave the big pier at near Bug and Spring Point Light empty and high in the water and everyone will be able to do business as usual. No one will lose jobs, including the fishermen who rely on our clean water for their livelihood. Tourists will still come to see our beautiful water and coastline and we will live knowing we’ve taken care of our health and the health of future generations. Thus the name of the ordinance.

Ask anyone who has lived in an area impacted by harmful pollutants in their air, land and water. It doesn’t take long to become one of those towns on the you-don’twant to-go-there list. Three Mile Island, Love Canal, Mayflower, Arkansas – would you want to live there or perhaps vacation there? No, this is our time to protect South Portland. We’re out there calling you, knocking on your door and doing what we can with people power. We don’t have $600,000 to spend on fancy misleading ads, we just have a bunch of sincere citizens who care.

Countless, selfless months have been put in to approving the moratorium, appointing a brilliant committee to write the ordinance and protect our city. Thank you to our brave and thoughtful council folks and the committee for so carefully writing a transparent ordinance that will indeed protect all concerns of the citizens of South Portland. I commend you and look forward to being at Mahoney Middle School June 25 when the city council is scheduled to read the ordinance for the first time. Truly a pivotal moment in the life of our town. Please join hundreds of your neighbors and be there.

Nancy Wallerstein
South Portland

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