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New England Tar Sands Pipeline Plotted 'Behind Closed Doors'

  For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Politics and Democracy page.

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."

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