Apr 23, 2008

'90s Sears Island activists up in arms over JUPC "deal"

A groundswell of concern is becoming a wave of anger as activists and others who stopped Angus King's 1990's Sears Island port plan and Governor Baldacci's 2004 LNG port plan learn the details of the deal that conservationists on the Sears Island Joint Use Planning Committee have struck with the shipping industry and Maine Department of Transportation.

The Sierra Club in particular has drawn fire for being signatory to the agreement, which has yet to be ratified by an increasingly suspicious Maine Legislature.

The Club was instrumental in preventing a port from appearing on Sears Island in the 1980s and 1990s, and again in 2005.

Now? Sierra Club's present position (in an email from Conservation Chair Ken Cline to a port critic) is

"We have ensured that 2/3 of it will be protected for ever, but we need all the help we can get to protect the remaining part."

But Ken...Didn't Sierra Club read the fine print before signing the MaineDOT agreement? The agency has clearly stated over and over that protection of two thirds of THEIR island - remember MDOT is on the deed as agency in control of Sears Island - is contingent on the other third of the island becoming a cargo port. No port = no park. Its as simple as that.

What can we non-signatories to the deal do that doesn't bring the whole deal tumbling down? Would it better to bring it down?

Time to hit the beach! Unconditional surrender by Maine DOT! We'll accept no less.

Outta the way, Sierra Club!

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