Hundreds protest the prospect of a tar sands pipeline running through Maine at a rally in January, 2013.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Several environmental groups in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are asking federal regulators for a moratorium on new tar sands oil pipelines until new standards are created.
The groups contend current safety rules aren't adequate in addressing "dirty" sands oil from Alberta, Canada.
So far, none of that oil is flowing through the region. But the Portland Montreal Pipeline Co. says it would welcome the opportunity to use the pipeline that crosses Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to transport the oil from Montreal to Portland.
Critics say pipelines carrying sands oil through Midwestern states have spilled nearly three times the national average of crude oil per mile of pipeline. But the industry cites data that show pipelines carrying sands oil aren't more prone to failure than pipelines carrying conventional crude.
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