2016-11-25 / Letters

Reader says letter contained inaccuracies

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Kandi-Lee Hoy’s somewhat inaccurate letter to the editor last week.

The Clear Skies Ordinance was not turned down by voters in November 2013; that was the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, which was narrowly defeated by a mere 192 votes (4,453 to 4,261), after industry opponents of the Waterfront Protection Ordinance outspent supporters by a 4-1 margin ($646,000 to $160,000). This was a clear cut case of locals battling petroleum lobbyists hoping to pave the way to export tar sands from our shores.

The Clear Skies Ordinance sought to compromise and bridge the gap between those voters who hoped to halt an environmental travesty, and those who bought into the false concerns over economic impact, a lie propagated by the fossil fuel industry. The ordinance succeeded in narrowly defining its overall intent, that of blocking the exportation of crude oil from South Portland, without adversely affecting any other waterfront businesses. The ordinance addressed and removed the one objection to the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, the erroneous and misleading claim that it would have restricted waterfront businesses from expanding. The Clear Skies Ordinance also is perfectly in keeping with South Portland’s Comprehensive Plan.

Again, lest we forget, Portland Pipeline is suing our city because it wishes to resurrect its failing business and correct its short-sighted decisions, by adding two 70-foot-tall smokestacks at its existing pier next to Bug Light. These smokestacks, called VCUs, or Vapor Combustion Units, would burn off toxic gases associated with the loading of diluted bitumen (tar sands) onto tankers. The tar sands would then be exported to other countries, such as India and China. South Portland would pay the health and environmental costs, while Portland Pipeline would accrue the financial benefits.

The ongoing legal battle being waged in court is a worthy one, and I would urge those who care more about health, the environment, their children, and people over profits to seriously consider donating to the legal fund.

I have done so for my children ... and yours.

William Duffy Dufris South Portland

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