Coastal Maine Town Narrowly Votes Down Tar Sands Ban

Law360, New York (November 6, 2013, 4:15 PM EST) -- A citizens' initiative to ban tar sands from South Portland, Maine, narrowly failed to pass a referendum Tuesday amid outcry by proponents of the measure that the oil industry flexed its corporate muscle to spend some $600,000 in its campaign to win over the town’s roughly 19,000 voters.

The measure, which was defeated by a 4,453 to 4,261 vote, according to a representative for South Portland’s City Clerk’s Office, was billed the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, and would have barred the shipment of tar sands — a...
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