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Tar Sands Ordinance Opponents Pleased with Measure's Defeat
11/05/2013 10:40 PM ET  

Opponents of the ordinance say it was too broad, and would have prevented any kind of waterfront development or upgrades.

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Supporters of the tar sands ordinance in South Portland were hopeful early on, but ended up not having much to celebrate as the measure went down to defeat.

Voters in South Portland have rejected a city ordinance designed to block tar sands oil from flowing through Maine pipelines. Opponents of the ordinance say it was too broad, and would have prevented any kind of waterfront development or upgrades.

South Portland holds a potentially powerful position in the tar sands debate because it is the final destination port should the oil ever flow through Maine.

There are no current plans to bring tar sands ot the state - and that was part of the problem with the proposed ordinance, says the president of the Maine Energy Marketers Association, Jamie Py.

"We think it was an extremely dangerous ordinance that would have had dire effects for a lot of people, a lot of families, a lot of businesses, the port iself, as well as for the region because of the energy infrastructure that's here," Py says.

But this win may be fleeting. The South Portland City Council plans to discuss a temporary moratorium on tar sands to buy time to put permanent legal protections in place.

This story was reported and written by Patty Wight.

Photo:  Caroline Losneck

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