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Governor Gretchen Whitmer ends public relief for Enbridge’s Line 5, which has two 67 year old oil pipelines with disaster potential.
Today Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an injunction Enbridge Energy must suspend all transportation on its Line 5 The two aging lines currently pump 23 million gallons of oil and gas daily from Superior, Wisc., To Sarnia, Ontario.
For years, environmental groups have been calling for the lines that run under the environmentally sensitive Mackinac road to be terminated. The straits connect some of the largest freshwater surface sources in the world: Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
The indictment against Enbridge reflects multiple and unrecoverable violations where the risk of immense oil and gas pollution is higher than ever. A lack of protective coating and several problems with the recent, almost catastrophic, cargo anchor strikes put the problem at the forefront of Whitmer’s governance.
Alternative construction creates jobs, safer oil and gas transport
Efforts from groups like the National Wildlife Federation prompted the University of Michigan to investigate the possibilities and consequences of oil spills. UM noted that the Worst case scenario could affect 150 miles of coastline, 60% of the waters of Lake Huron, and 15% of the waters of Lake Michigan. This would profoundly affect not only wildlife, but the vital industries of fishing, tourism and recreation that sustain many areas of the Midwest.
“Governor Whitmer’s decision to shutdown Line 5 will definitively protect the Great Lakes and the people and wildlife that depend on them from an environmental, economic and health disaster,” said Collin O’Mara, CEO and President of the National Wildlife Federation.
“This historic decision sends a clear message that we are absolutely not ready to risk the Great Lakes and their critical role in the American economy and way of life.”
It should be mentioned that an Enbridge funded analysis found that creating alternatives to the pipeline will create jobs in the construction sector while creating a safer and more modern transportation system for oil and gas.
“Governor Whitmer welcomes the court’s decision to issue an injunction to shut down Line 5 immediately after an anchor post was severely damaged,” said Whitmer’s office.
“Enbridge’s decision to keep pumping crude oil down the Straits of Mackinac with so many unanswered questions was ruthless and unacceptable. Enbridge owes a duty to the people of Michigan and must answer the state for how it treats our Great Lakes. The governor will continue to work to keep our waters safe. “