Leaders of the oil industry in Maine plan to challenge a recent local ordinance that threatens energy marketing in northern New England’s most vital energy hub, according to an article in The Los Angeles Times.

The South Portland City Council earlier this week approved a new ordinance that is intended to prohibit the export of Canadian oil derived from oil sands from the port city. Opponents of the ordinance said they would seek to overturn it in the courts or by citizens’ vote.

The city’s action came in response to an oil company’s plan to reverse the flow of an import pipeline that takes oil from the South Portland harbor, the New England hub for importing crude oil and distributing fuel, according to the Times. Reversing the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line would enable the harbor to become an export terminal for crude oil from Canada.

“The American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s main lobbying organization, sent a letter this year to South Portland officials warning that a law blocking exports ‘would face strong legal challenges,’” The Times wrote.  

Leaders of the regional oil industry promised to block the measure, the Times reported. “The men and women of the Working Waterfront Coalition — [a local marine industry group] whose livelihoods were treated as casual collateral damage throughout this process — will evaluate all political and legal means available to us to overturn this ordinance, “Jamie Py, President of the Maine Energy Marketers Assn., said. “The fight is not over.”

A lawsuit by opponents is likely to argue that the city overstepped its authority, such as regulation of trade, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause or the state’s Home Rule act, according to an article in the Portland Press Herald.

To read the Los Angeles Times article, click here.