Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter introduced an amendment that would protect New Hampshire's environmental interests from being affected by H.R. 3, legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The amendment would clarify that nothing in H.R. 3 approves or authorizes any proposed pipeline activity between Portland, Maine and Montreal, Canada.
"Regardless of how one views the Keystone XL pipeline, my amendment simply clarifies that the expedited process made available for Keystone will not be used to short-circuit any environmental review for possible changes to the Portland to Montreal pipeline," Shea-Porter said. "It is possible that there may be an attempt to reverse this aging pipeline, which was designed to transport fuel from Portland to Montreal, in order to transport Canadian tar sands out to the Atlantic. New Hampshire residents have significant concerns about the potential environmental and economic impact such a decision could have on the region."
In April, Shea-Porter joined Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Annie Kuster in sending a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting a thorough investigation before allowing implementation of any proposal for existing New Hampshire pipelines to reverse their flow and transport oil sands products.
The Portland Pipe Line Corporation (PPLC) currently operates a pipeline system transporting light to medium crude oil northwest from tankers in Portland Harbor, Maine through northern New Hampshire to Montreal, Canada. PPLC has indicated that it may seek to reverse the pipeline's flow direction and change its contents to Canadian oil sands products.
The amendment was cosponsored by Representative Annie Kuster (NH - 02) and Representative Chellie Pingree (ME-01).