Comments to BOC on Line 5

August 10, 2019

Editor's Note:  This is one of the comments given to the BOC in response to an item on the agenda by Commissioner Jewett to support the Enbridge Line 5 Proposal.  The BOC does not publish public comments.  We feel the comments made were worthy of note and consideration and are publishing them in this blog.

 

 

Since Enbridge first laid claim to the bottomland of the Straits in 1953, opportunistic politicians and interconnected parties on both sides of the border, who have chosen to play nice with Enbridge, have profited.

 

Recent legal actions have accelerated one of the most expensive and far reaching public relations campaigns in Michigan history to fight increasing public pressure to shut down Line 5. 

 

Governor Whitmer tried to reach an agreement with Enbridge, but Enbridge walked away from negotiations and instead filed a lawsuit against the state.  After this action, AG Nessel filed a lawsuit for the State of Michigan against Enbridge, stating that the easement granted by the State in 1953 violates the public trust doctrine and violates the Michigan Environmental Protection Act because it is likely to cause pollution impairment and destruction of water and other natural resources.   

 

Your passage of Resolution XX-2019, will align you with the long-established effort to turn the State of Michigan into the Province of Enbridge.   You make the choice to risk 20% of the world’s fresh surface water, 80% of North America’s fresh surface water and the drinking water source for over 40 million Midwesterners.  

 

 Clearly your Resolution was written from Enbridge provided information because it is based only on studies bought and paid for by Enbridge.

 

Here are some FACTS supported by experts not beholden to the pipeline industry:


Line 5 has failed 33 times since 1968, spilling at least 1.1 million gallons of oil into the Great Lakes.

 

Enbridge lacks a credible plan to recover spilled oil in ice covered water.

 

On July 25th, 2010, Enbridge caused the nation’s largest inland oil spill when its Line 6B pipeline burst near Marshall, Michigan.  This fracture went undetected for 17 hours and dumped nearly one million gallons of heavy tar sands oil saturating 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River watershed. It took four years and over $1.2 billion to clean it up to the extent possible, which many Kalamazoo residents, with now worthless waterfront property, contend is still NOT cleaned up

 

One to two rail cars or a few tanker trucks a day could replace Line 5’s U.P.  propane supply.

 

Line 5 was never designed as a vital oil or propane infrastructure for the State of Michigan.  

 

Line 5 was designed, and to this day, serves strictly as a short cut for Enbridge product transportation. 

 

Over 1 in 5 Michigan jobs, are directly tied to a healthy Great Lakes.

 

The Great Lakes tourism, recreational and fishing industry is valued at $47 billion annually.

 

Line 5 creates, at most, 250 full and part time jobs filled by Michiganders and Canadians living in Michigan.  

 

More than 1.5 million U.S. jobs are directly connected to the Great Lakes, generating $62 billion in wages.  

 

Today, over 90 percent of Line 5 crude oil runs through Michigan, is refined in Canada, and then exported by Canada via the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Northern Michigan is ground zero WHEN not if Line 5 ruptures. Grand Traverse County and all points north will be forever and irrevocably altered and for what?  A multibillion-dollar Canadian oil company continuing to make billions.

 

Commissioners, what motivates you to devote any GTBOC work time to endorsement of a Canadian oil Company, who in no way serves the best interests of your Grand Traverse County constituents or the citizens of the State of Michigan?

 

 

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