Tar sands ban: Maine city blocks crude oil shipments

A Maine city council voted 6-1 late monday to block the shipment of so-called tar sands oil from western Canada through South Portland, Maine. Environmentalists say tar sands oil is difficult to clean up, but supporters of the pipeline say blocking it will kill jobs.

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    The Syncrude tar sands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta is shown in this file photo. South Portland, Maine voted late Monday to block a pipeline that would ship tar sands crude oil from western Canada.
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Operators of a pipeline and the president of the Maine Energy Marketers Association are blasting a decision by the South Portland City Council that bans the transfer of crude oil onto ocean tankers.

Councilors voted 6-1 Monday night in favor of zoning changes that would effectively end any attempt to bring so-called tar sands oil from western Canada through a pipeline from Canada to South Portland.

Environmentalists say tar sands oil is difficult to clean if spilled and dangerous to ship.

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Tom Hardison from the Portland Pipe Line said councilors made a rush to judgment and bowed to environmental "extremists." He said the zoning changes amounted to a "job-killing ordinance" that prevents the city's oil terminals from adapting to meet the energy needs of North America.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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