The fight against tar sands isn’t just about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline out west – it’s also about the push for smaller tar sands pipeline projects across the country, including one Exxon Mobil & Enbridge are trying to sneak through right here in New England. Last night, the Brookline town meeting became the first in Massachusetts to stand up and say no, overwhelmingly approving a resolution opposing tar sands:
Brookline has become the first town in Massachusetts to vote on a resolution to oppose a possible Northeastern Tar Sands pipeline, which runs from Montreal Canada to Portland Maine. The resolution says tar sands is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels that contribute to climate change, and states that Brookline opposes both the pipeline project and encourages the town, state, and region to move away from tar sands and other climate polluting fuels.
The resolution expresses concern not only about the climate impacts from tar sands oil, but also spills along pipelines and destruction of the boreal forest, where the tar sands oil is extracted. Similar resolutions passed in 29 towns in Vermont this year on Town Meeting Day, and anti-tar sands resolutions or by-laws have been passed in 4 towns in Maine so far. In all the towns there were major concerns expressed about both spills of tar sands in waterways and the climate change impacts.
Brookline has a strong history of taking action on climate change. In 2008 the town voted to establish a selectman’s climate action committee and to write a climate action plan for the town. Last year at town meeting a plasctic bag ban and a ban on Styrofoam containers were passed because of climate and wildlife concerns.
The resolution was sponsored by Carol Oldham, town meeting member from Precinct 11, and was supported by the Brookline Green Caucus, PAX Brookline, and Climate Action Brookline.
Take action by asking the State Department to conduct full safety reviews of any tar sands expansion.