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South Portland Asks Judge to Dismiss Pipeline Company's Lawsuit

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - South Portland is battling back in court against a pipeline company's efforts to challenge a ban on the export of crude oil from the city's harbor.

Earlier this week, the city filed a motion in U.S. District Court asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought in February by the Portland Pipe Line Corporation, or PPL.

PPL's suit challenges the city's so-called "Clear Skies" ordinance, designed to prevent the South Portland-to-Montreal oil pipeline from being reversed. A reversal would allow Canadian crude oil to come into Maine for export - something which environmentalists, the South Portland City Council and some local residents are opposed to.

The city argues the suit should be dismissed because PPL has "no current plans" to reverse the flow of the pipeline.

PPL, meanwhile, claims the ordinance seeks to interfere unfairly in interstate and international commerce, and that it violates a number of provisions of the Maine and the U.S. Constitutions.