2014-08-01 / Letters

Council didn’t see truth

To the editor:

The South Portland City Council made the wrong decision last Monday when members voted to ban the bulk loading of crude oil in our port. Supporters believe that the crude that would come through the pipeline will have a different effect on their health than the products that are already being shipped in our port. That is simply not true. In fact, they are exposed to all of the same chemicals when they fill-up at the gas pump, drive their cars and fill their oil tanks to heat their homes.

Emission of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in South Portland is not unique to the terminals as there are other industries that emit VOCs as well. If the goal of this ordinance were truly about health concerns and air quality, it should have been focused on limiting VOC emissions for the entire city instead of unfairly singling out Portland Pipe Line.

There is only one true goal of this ordinance and that is to shut down Portland Pipe Line. The same Portland Pipe Line that owns eight acres of South Portland’s beloved Bug Light Park and made pubic use of the park possible. The same Portland Pipe Line that is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the community. The same Portland Pipe Line that has provided generations of great jobs.

Some believe that Portland Pipe Line only employs a few dozen people, which, yet again, is simply not true. Portland Pipe Line employs a great number of companies that provide landscaping, boom and line handling, tank cleaning, heating and cooling, welding, electricians and many more. This is the Portland Pipe Line that the council has to hang out to dry. One has to wonder: who is next?

If people really want to stop the transportation of oil they need to start at home. People need to stop driving cars, heating homes, plugging in, paving roads, flying around the world and wearing rubber soled sneakers. Nearly everything we do and buy in our society utilizes fossil fuels in some way. The six members of the city council who voted in favor of this ordinance are completely out of touch with the lives of the average South Portland resident.

Kevin Rodriguez
South Portland

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