RadioActive 1/24/13

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Tar Sands demonstration in Bangor, organizing in Maine

Key Discussion Points:

a) Demonstrators in Bangor and across the region rallied to oppose the use of a northeast pipeline for tar sands oil. The Portland Montreal Pipe Line (PMPL) corporation has plans to reverse it’s 70 year old pipeline to transport tar sands from Montreal to Portland, Maine’s harbor.

b) The demonstration took place in front of a TD Bank. TD is one of the largest financiers of the Alberta tar sands developments. Canadians have opposed this industry because of forest destruction, contamination and health impacts, specifically on First nations communities. Both in the US and Canada, people have opposed tar sands pipelines, because of the proven increased risk of spills, the toxicity of the bitumen crude, and threat to drinking water. It takes three times as much energy to produce a barrel of tar sands oil then conventional oil. Scientist James Hansen warns the production and use of tars sands oil will precipitate “game over for climate change.

c) For the first time in it’s history, Sierra Club is planning to engage in direct action this February to oppose tar sands production and climate change.

A) Demonstrators at tar sands protest in Bangor
B) Andy Burt, Sierra Club activist and environmental justice coordinator for Maine Council of Churches