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Home / US / Governor of Michigan seeks to close Great Lakes oil pipeline

Governor of Michigan seeks to close Great Lakes oil pipeline



Travis, Michigan (Associated Press)-Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer took legal action on Friday to shut down a pipeline that carried oil under the channel connecting the two great lakes.

Whitmer’s office notified the Canadian company Enbridge Inc. that it was revoking the easement granted 67 years ago to extend the pipeline through the Strait of Mackinac by approximately 4 miles (6.4 kilometers). The revocation must take effect within 180 days, at which time the fuel supply must be stopped.

The Democratic governor said in a statement: “Embridge generally refuses to take action to protect our Great Lakes and millions of Americans, relying on them for clean drinking water and good jobs.” “They repeatedly. Violating the terms of the easement of 1

953 and ignoring structural issues that put our Great Lakes region and our families at risk.

“Most importantly, Enbridge imposes an unacceptable risk of oil spills in the Great Lakes on the people of Michigan, which could damage our economy and lifestyle.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (Dana Nessel) filed a lawsuit on Friday to enforce Whitmer’s decision. Another pending case filed by Nessel last year used pipes as public harassment.

Enbridge said that Whitmer’s actions “have no reliable basis.”

Vern Yu, the company’s president in charge of liquid pipelines, said: “In accordance with the envisaged in the 1953 Service Agreement, and as recently confirmed by our Federal Safety Regulatory Agency, Line 5 is still safe.”

Line 5 is part of the Enbridge Lakehead network, which transports oil from Western Canada to refineries in the United States and Ontario. The pipeline moves approximately 23 million gallons (87 million liters) a day between the states of Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario, through parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, Vietnam.

The underwater part of the Strait of Mackinaw that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan is divided into two pipes measuring 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. Enbridge said they are in good condition and have never been leaked.

Environmentalists say they are fragile, and the closure of Line 5 should be part of a global effort to curb the use of fossil fuels in climate warming.

“Line 5 is still subject to uncontrollable and powerful forces, including unusually strong water currents, lake bed erosion, new anchor and cable strikes, and corrosion,” said Liz Kirkwood of For Love of Water.

Enbridge reached an agreement with the then government.Republican Rick Snyder (Rick Snyder) will replace the underwater part in 2018 Install a new pipe in the tunnel and drill through the bedrock under the strait.

The company is seeking state and federal permits for the $500 million project, which is not affected by the Whitmer shutdown order.

Environmentalists, local tribes and some elected officials have begun pushing for the decommissioning of Line 5 after another Enbridge pipeline leaked In 2010, there were at least 843,000 gallons (3.2 million liters) of oil in the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan.

As the company reported that when erosion opened up a wide space between the pipe section and the lake bed, the pressure increased, and a gap appeared between the protective coating and the installed support device.

The anchors towed by commercial tugs and barges dented both pipes It was in April 2018. This summer, one of the pipe supports was damaged, apparently the ship’s cable was damaged.

Whitmer’s office stated in the termination notice that the license should not have been granted in 1953. The document said that placing the pipeline under a busy transportation route without a protective cover violated the state’s obligation to protect the public’s interests in the waters and bottom areas of the Great Lakes.

It cited a report from the Michigan Technological University that stated that oil discharged from the strait could harm fish and pollute hundreds of miles of beaches, dunes and wetlands.

The notice stated that Enbridge had repeatedly violated the requirement to park the pipeline on the lake bed or have other support at least every 75 feet (22 meters). It said that as early as 1963, spaces exceeding the threshold were discovered, and most of them have never been dealt with.

Enbridge has repeatedly defended the operation of the pipeline, saying that the coating gap does not pose a serious threat. It has installed more than 120 supports to improve stability, and strengthened patrols and other measures to prevent the anchor from hitting.

The company said the closure of Line 5 will result in a shortage of crude oil at refineries in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Eastern Canada, as well as a shortage of propane in northern Michigan. Enbridge said this will also increase oil transportation by rail or truck.

Geno Alessandrini of the Michigan State Labor Union said: “Today’s move will kill jobs and increase fuel costs.” The organization joined industry groups and criticized Whitmer’s decision. “This is the last thing Michigan needs to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.”

Republican state senator Jim Stamas said that the governor of the state supports “environmental extremists,” not “hard-working Northern Michigan families.”

Democratic Senator Gary Peters, a member of the Senate committee responsible for overseeing the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, approved Whitmer’s move and said he would work with officials to “rapidly evaluate alternatives to Line 5. Plan, while continuing to hold Enbridge accountable.”


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