Report: Tar Sands Advocates Use Oil Industry Tactics

Jul 3, 2014

A new report indicates that what are being called "tried-and-true industry tactics" have been used by opponents of an ordinance aimed at keeping tar sands oil out of Maine.  

Environment Maine released it's report as the South Portland City Council prepares to vote on a new ordinance that would prevent tar sands oil from being loaded onto tanker ships in Casco Bay.

Environment Maine Campaigns Director Taryn Hallweaver said in a teleconference that the oil industry has employed four strategies in its tar sands effort.  The first: to spend a lot of money; the second, to downplay the role of out-of-state big oil; the third, to deny any plans to bring tar sands to Maine; and the fourth, to play up economic concerns.

"As we just discussed,  big oil avoided making the case for tar sands and, instead, denied plans and devoted most of its attention to attacking the language of the ordinance in question, stoking fears the ordinance would have unintended economic consequences," Hallweaver said.

In November, South Portland voters narrowly defeated a citizen-initiated ordinance that sought to use zoning to block the infrastructure needed to bring tar sands crude into South Portland for export.