Going in Reverse: The Tar Sands Oil Threat to Central Canada and New England

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. appears to be reviving a previous plan, called Trailbreaker, which would transport tar sands oil through some of the most important natural and cultural landscapes in eastern Canada and Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The Trailbreaker plan would reverse the direction of oil flowing through two major pipelines—Enbridge Line 9 and the Portland/Montreal Pipeline. But under the plan, the pipelines would not carry conventional oil, but Canadian tar sands oil—the dirtiest oil on the planet—along an approximately 750-mile route. The pipelines’ route would run east through Ontario and Quebec, and down to the New England seacoast, finally ending in Portland, Maine’s Casco Bay for export.  Enbridge has taken the first step to implement this plan by recently filing a permit application with Canada’s National Energy Board.

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