By Timothy Cama - 04/23/14 11:10 AM EDT
New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is urging the State Department to thoroughly review any proposal by the operator of the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line to use it carry oil from Canada’s oil sands to the United States.
The pipeline is currently permitted to carry oil from Portland, Maine, on the Atlantic coast, to Montreal, via New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is also designed to carry oil from Alberta to the U.S. for refining. Environmental groups have objected, saying oil sands petroleum is harmful to the environment.
In their letter last week, New Hampshire’s delegation said the PPLC’s operating permit in the U.S. allows Secretary of State John Kerry to review any proposal to reverse the pipeline’s flow.
The delegation said that if the PPLC proposes to move oil sands products, “it is important for the State Department to conduct a transparent and thorough environmental and safety review of the proposal as part of a new presidential permit process.” The letter was signed by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Kelly Ayotte (R) and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (D) and Ann McLane (D).
Despite the study and Canada’s approval, a PPLC spokesman told the Union Leader that there is currently no plan to reverse the pipeline’s flow to carry oil out of Canada.