The time has come for Vermont to play a key role in stopping tar sands oil. In spite of their public denials, numerous signs point to Canadian pipeline corporations planning to pump tar sands crude oil (“diluted bitumen” or “dilbit”) through a 62 year old pipeline cutting across Vermont’s pristine Northeast Kingdom. As Vermonters, we must stand together to make sure this never happens.
In 2008, Montreal Pipe Line Limited (MPLL) and Enbridge Incorporated collaborated on a project they called “Trailbreaker” that would link pipelines from Alberta to the coast of Maine and reverse their flow, giving tar sands producers access to international markets via eastern ports.
Because neither state officials nor the general public were made aware of the numerous hazards of pumping Tar Sands through pipelines, this plan came dangerously close to being finally approved in Vermont before it was withdrawn due to a sagging oil market.
Over the last few years these powerful pipeline corporations have faced rising public opposition over their risky pipelines plans so they now work very hard to keep their plans hidden from public scrutiny. However in spite of their repeated public denials there are numerous signs that strongly indicate the old trailbreaker plan is advancing once again.
The question is: are we any more prepared today than we were in 2008 to stop this reckless plan? We’ve seen in fight after fight across North America that stopping these powerful energy corporations is a daunting task. To keep Vermont “tar sands free” we must mobilize to resist this plan every step of the way.
Keeping Vermont tar sands free involves three basic efforts:
- Make sure our communities are fully informed about the destructive nature of tar sands and the very real dangers of the pipeline plans being developed for our region.
- Craft the strongest possible legal and political case to deny the permits required to use this pipeline to ship tar sands crude–now or at any point in the future.
- Build a well organized and powerful citizen advocacy capable of standing up to these corporations for as long as it takes to keep this region tar sands free.
To accomplish the above we’re organizing a full scale people’s campaign in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. This will involve community information meetings, landowner opposition groups, tar sands free town resolutions, statewide petitions, and an ongoing public communications campaign.
To build this effort we’re asking concerned Vermonters to join this campaign now. If you can give a few hours a week to help keep our green mountain state tar sands free join a statewide conference call to learn how you can get more involved.
To RSVP for one of the next calls and get the free conference call number email David Stember David@350.org