A pipeline company’s plan to bring Canadian tar sands oil to the port at South Portland, Maine, included building a pair of 70-foot-high smokestacks next to the city’s beloved Bug Light Park. Credit: PT Washburn/CC-BY-2.0 This ICN story was also published in the Boston Globe . A federal judge has ruled that the coastal city of South Portland, Maine, did not violate the U.S. Constitution when it passed an ordinance that blocked a local pipeline company from bringing tar sands oil through its port. For the city of 25,000, the ruling was a surprise victory after years of fighting what felt like an impossible battle against some of the world’s biggest oil companies, which lined up to support the Portland Pipe Line Corporation (PPLC). Provided the ruling survives an appeal, it slams the door on a significant plan to ship Canadian tar sands oil, one of the most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet, to the East Coast for export to international markets, and it could offer a guide for other communities hoping to block energy projects. "For other communities looking at opposing fossil fuel infrastructure, this case is a blueprint for how you should do it," said Patrick Parenteau, […]

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