As the battle over transporting tar sands out of Alberta continues, two distinct paths emerged on Monday, one chosen by Burlington, Vermont and the other by Montana, and show how decisions made at the local level can have serious impacts for ongoing battles over fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
Burlington VT City Council on Monday night voted its disapproval over the transport of tar sands oil, which it termed as an unacceptable risk to "public health and safety, property values and our natural resources."
To make sure the message is loud and clear to those involved in the prospective pipeline, the resolution also requires that
the Council transmit a copy of the resolution to the governor of Vermont, the Vermont Congressional delegation, the Canadian Prime Minister, and the CEOs of companies associated with the pipeline: Portland Pipe Line Corporation, Montreal Pipe Line Limited, Imperial Oil Limited, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Enbridge, Inc., BP and Royal Dutch Shell.While campaigners fighting for a tar sands-free New England celebrated the victory in Burlington, a decision in Montana offered nothing to cheer about.
KPAX Missoula reports:
On Monday, the state's top lawmakers green-lighted the Keystone XL pipeline route in Montana allowing the line to cross two of Montana's largest rivers.The Great Falls Tribune adds that the state board decision came despite objections from environmental groups, including Jim Jensen of the Montana Environmental Information Center, who argued that the pipeline would jeopardize the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers.
The Keystone XL is a proposed oil pipeline which would span 1,200 miles from Alberta, Canada, through Montana to Nebraska.
The State Land Board, made up of Montana's top five elected officials, approved nearly 40 easements running through seven Montana counties, giving TransCanada permission to put the pipeline on state land.