Read this story from commondreams.org on the concerns of a group of US environmental groups that Exxon Mobil, Suncor and Enbridge are plotting behind closed doors to reverse the flow of a pipeline to allow Tar Sands bitumen to be pumped from Alberta to a deep water port in Maine. (Oct. 10, 2012)
A new analysis released today by national and regional environmental groups shows that US oil giant Exxon Mobile and Canada’s Suncor hold a majority stake in a pipeline system that local residents along its route fear could soon be used to transport tar sands from western Canada to the New England coast.The central concern of the report (pdf) surrounds a 2008 proposal by Canadian oil giant Enbridge to reverse the flow of existing east-to-west oil pipelines that would allow transport of tar sands oil—categorized by many as the “dirtiest oil in the world”—from Alberta to the deepwater harbor of Portland, Maine.
The local companies who manage the pipelines companies insist the idea has been shelved for economic reasons, but multiple recent actions lead the environmental groups to believe that the proposal is now being quietly revived behind closed doors. Pointedly, the groups argue that the oil giants who own these local pipeline subsidiaries should not be trusted.
“Unbeknownst to most of the public,” said the groups in a statement, “a major portion of the proposed tar sands pipeline that would cut across the Great Lakes, Ontario, Quebec and New England to Portland, Maine, is actually owned by oil giants Exxon-Mobil, Imperial Oil, and Suncor Energy – all of whom have a deep stake in tar sands extraction.”
As the report explains:
The line has two direct corporate owners: Montreal Pipe Line Limited (MPLL), which owns the stretch in Canada, from Montreal to the U.S. border; and the Portland Pipe Line Corporation, which owns the U.S. section and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPLL. In turn, Montreal Pipe Line Limited’s ultimate parent is ExxonMobil: Exxon subsidiary Imperial Oil Limited holds a majority interest in the pipeline. A smaller portion is owned by the Canadian giant Suncor Energy. Imperial and Suncor are among the biggest developers of Alberta’s tar sands and stand to benefit greatly from this project to transport tar sands oil across the region for export.
With regionally-anchored names like “Montreal Pipe Line Limited” and “Portland Pipe Line Corporation,” the ten environmental groups involved with the report—which represent members in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont—claim that the international oil giants who own these subsidiary companies would rather hide the fact that some of the world’s most notorious polluters are operating in their backyards.