As a student at Colby and a lifelong New Englander, I have a passion for the outdoors. Maine has some of the most unique, beautiful wilderness in New England.

I have developed so much from my time in Maine’s wilderness — as have so many people for generations past and hopefully for generations to come.

It’s no surprise then that I’m so upset about the possibility of oil companies pumping tar sands oil through the Sebago Lake watershed.

The pipeline, built in 1950, comes within 1,000 feet of the lake. It passes numerous other lakes, rivers and streams before ending in Casco Bay.

Tar sands oil is a sticky, peanut butter-like substance that’s diluted with benzene and other chemicals. It’s more corrosive to pipelines than conventional oil. These factors, and others, increase the risk of spills. And because tar sands are heavier and more toxic, these spills are more destructive and harder to clean up.

I urge lawmakers at every level of government in Maine to do everything in their power to stop this reckless project.

Casey Ballin

Waterville