As the entirety of the Southeast United States hunts for gas and wonders if they are going to be able to make their way to their jobs the next day as a result of an alleged cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is now attempting to shut down another pipeline running through her state.
As a result, the state of Michigan has told Enbridge, a Canadian energy company, that it has to shut down an oil and gas pipeline by May 11. What’s even more strange than closing down a pipeline at a time when the entire Southeast of the country faces a gas shortage is that Whitmer’s claims are not completely invalid as most of hers tend to be. Whitmer and the state of Michigan are arguing that the pipeline represents a potentially massive environmental disaster if the pipelines burst, leak, or are damaged.
But this new attempt on Whitmer’s part is putting strains on the relationship between the United States and Canada.
Enbridge of Canada has refused to comply
Enbridge has, for its part, refused to comply with Whitmer’s order and has done so with support from top Canadian officials. The company has, for sixty-seven years, moved oil and gas from Western Canada through Michigan and the Great Lakes to refineries in the province of Ontario but Michigan is arguing Line 5 is too risky to continue to operate. In November, Whitmer announced her plan to revoke the easement granted to Enbridge which allows the pipeline Line 5 to cross under the Straits of Mackinac. Whitmer set May 12 as the deadline for Enbridge to shut the pipeline down.
“These oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac are a ticking time bomb, and their continued presence violates the public trust and poses a grave threat to Michigan’s environment and economy,” Whitmer’s office said in a statement.
Enbridge argues that it has never experienced a leak in the underwater section of Line 5 and that it is currently working to tunnel beneath the lake bed to improve the safety of the pipeline. In the last two years, however, the pipeline has been struck by boat anchors and cables. In 2010, an incident with an Enbridge pipeline spilled 3.2m liters of oil into the Kalamazoo River.
Whitmer is backed by Democratic Attorneys General and environmental campaigners as well as Indigenous communities on both sides of the border.
“Should anything that’s being transported in these 67-year-old pipelines get into the Great Lakes, it would have devastating effects and irreparable consequences,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare, who represents 39 First Nations across Ontario….
It’s funny how our self-appointed guardians of the galaxy only discover the environment when it’s strategically useful to the elite interests that back them. At least the repugs dress their self-interest in keeping americans alive. The dems have no such constraints. They speak for the earth and the earth says “peasants out! But the billionaires can stay.”