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Obama Faces New Pressure from Northeast Lawmakers on Canadian Oil Sands

Feb 13, 2013
(Roll Call)

Northeastern lawmakers are planning to ask the Obama administration to require an extensive environmental review process for any efforts to utilize an existing pipeline to ship crude oil produced at Canada’s tar sands to Maine.

Led by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, the lawmakers are drafting a letter to freshly minted Secretary of State John Kerry calling for a new presidential permit and full environmental impact statement should the operators of the Portland-Montreal Pipeline attempt to ship tar sands crude to Maine through the decades-old conduit.

The pipeline currently carries crude oil from Maine to Montreal, but in 2008 the Portland Pipe Line Corporation, or PPLC — one of the entities that manages the 230-mile pipeline —sought permission from the State Department to reverse its flow to carry Canadian crude oil to Maine for export.