Update on CSO Ordinance legal status
Evidentiary hearing in Federal District Court
August 9, 2017
At least 43 South Portlanders, many of them PSP supporters, attended the hearing before Judge Woodcock. At issue was South Portland’s motion to dismiss the case against the Clear Skies Ordinance brought by the Portland Pipeline. The City’s lawyers began the hearing with a motion to disallow the statement by the CEO of the PPL, since they had not produced this evidence in time to allow the city to adequately research the claims made by the Pipeline. This was overruled, so the hearing proceeded for the next eight hours.
PPL’s CEO maintains that there is adequate oil available through Montreal to justify a reversal of the pipeline, but without reference to any outside expert opinion to back up this claim. The City’s lawyers brought a witness, an expert in the analysis of international oil markets, who maintains with considerable backup that the majority of oil coming into Montreal through Line 9 has been spoken for in contracts for the next ten years.
Both witnesses spent large chunks of time on the stand, and both were cross examined by opposing lawyers. Now we await the judge’s ruling. There is no way to know which way he may rule. Stay tuned.
Thanks to all those who attended and all of you who have supported the City’s Clear Skies Ordinance in so many ways.
PS: Here's a tidbit from PPL CEO’s testimony and cross examination. Remember the letters sent to almost everyone in South Portland three weeks before the WPO vote? It told us all in no uncertain terms that the PPL had absolutely no plans to reverse the flow and bring oil to South Portland from Montreal. This was signed by him. Turns out they had lots of plans in place and had been hatching them for many months. On cross examination it became clear that the PPL had outright lied to the people of South Portland.