Tar Sands Pumping Through Pipelines?

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tar sandsVERMONT- The Green Mountain State is trying to keep their nickname by saying no to tar sands. Although the substance could help the state out economically, envorimentally it would be destroyed.

Tar sands, otherwise known as oil sands, are semi-solid, heavy and quite viscous. The product, which is composed up of water, clay, bitumen and sand, can be broken down to be used as oil.

Northeastern Vermont is known for having pipelines through the state, connecitng Portland, Maine and Montreal, Canada. There's a possiblity that the pipeline could be "reversed," causing the oil to flow from Montreal to Maine.

If the piping pattern were to be flipped, oil prices would potentially decrease, benefitting the whole nation. Although national prices would be on the decline, so would local jobs. Greg Macdonald of Sierra Club Vermont says this idea has no plus-side for Vermonters. "It's all risk and no benefit as far as this stuff being piped through the Northeast Kingdom," Macdonald said.

Locals seem to have the same idea as Macdonald. For the past two years, towns across the state have taken actions to avoid any potential pipeline reversal. According to Jade Walker of 350 Vermont, 42 towns have said "no" to tar sands.


On the envorinmental side of things, tar sands can be dangerous. With greenhouse emissions, global warming, water quality and impacts on wildlife, the environmental toll that tar sands would take on the NEK would be crucial.