Opinion | Enbridge has proven it can’t be trusted with water and Line 5

Ketih Cooley

Keith Cooley is president & CEO of Principia, LLC, and is a board member of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

We can’t continue to ignore the disastrous consequences Michigan and our Great Lakes will face if Enbridge fails to keep its promises again and tragedy strikes. 

Enbridge, the Canadian energy conglomerate, owns Line 5 that carries gas under the Straits of Mackinac –  and its track record for operating its pipelines is shoddy.

They have averaged one hazardous liquid pipeline accident every 20 days since 2002, according to a 2018 report. In early August, an Enbridge pipeline in Kentucky exploded, sending flames 300 feet into the sky. Earlier this year, two Enbridge pipelines in Kentucky and Ohio exploded, killing one person, injuring others, destroying homes and damaging the environment. 

Michiganders have already suffered at the expense of Enbridge’s mistakes. In 2010, Enbridge’s Line 6B ruptured, spewing about 1 million gallons of sticky, crude oil into the Kalamazoo River, spilling onto river banks and contaminating nearby wetlands. The Kalamazoo River clean-up took five years and cost Enridge $1.21 billion to clean. It is the largest and most expensive inland oil spill in U.S. history.

We must also not forget that in the past 50 years, Line 5 has experienced at least 29 ruptures,spills or malfunctions over the length of the 645-mile pipeline, releasing more than 1 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids into surrounding land and waterways, according to the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Enbridge has played fast and loose with the truth – time and again the Canadian oil company misled the public as well as state and federal officials about the condition of the pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. They’ve denied there are any concerns about Line 5’s integrity, despite later having to acknowledge there were bare patches in the pipeline’s outer coating, missing anchor supports, and even new, widening gaps underneath the pipeline. Many of these problems are clear violations of the state easement that allows them to use the bottom of the Great Lakes.

In April 2018, an anchor from a tugboat struck the pipeline, denting it in several places and breaking nearby high voltage electrical cables that released 600 gallons of toxic fluids into the water. This past May, footage was finally released showing just how damaged the pipeline was from the incident. The anchor strike was a near catastrophe and should have served as a wake-up call to us all. Line 5 should be shut down immediately… and here’s why: 

The continued operation of Line 5 and the risk of a catastrophic rupture under the Straits isn’t worth the health of our residents, ecosystems or economy. According to researchers, a major oil spill in the Great Lakes could cause $45 billion in losses in gross national product in just 15 days during shipping season. That doesn’t even include the cost to our thriving tourism industry, which contributes more than $25 billion to Michigan’s economy each year. 

The degradation of our most treasured natural resources should not be the cost we pay for energy when there are many renewable, clean alternatives that would protect our residents and Great Lakes from pollution. 

Many people point to an Enbridge plan to build a tunnel under the Straits to replace Line 5, something that would take seven to 10 years to build, and in the meantime, Enbridge will continue pumping millions of gallons of oil and natural gas liquids through a 66-year-old, damaged pipeline. That would be a “double whammy” for Michiganders, as we are held hostage to the continued use of fossil fuels while keeping our Great Lakes at risk of a massive oil spill for nearly another decade. 

From explosions to oil spills, Enbridge’s record speaks for itself. Enbridge does not have Michigan’s best interests at heart and we cannot put our confidence in the hands of a company that has proven time and time again that it can’t be trusted.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan.

Like what you’re reading in Bridge? Please consider a donation to support our work!

We are a nonprofit Michigan news site focused on issues that impact all citizens. In an era of click bait and biased news, we focus on taking the time to learn both sides of a story before we post it. Bridge stories are always free, but our work costs money. If our journalism helps you understand and love Michigan more, please consider supporting our work. It takes just a moment to donate here.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Paul Jordan
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 11:21am

Enbridge not only has a terrible safety record, but their past behavior shows that they cannot be trusted to tell the truth. While on its face the proposal to establish a new pipeline under the straits by drilling through bedrock sounds like a distinct improvement over the current Line 5, the risk of any leak would still be born by the general public and the state. A leak and subsequent explosion might not result in further pollution of the Great Lakes, but it would result in blow back through the tunnel to damage private property and possibly kill people at either end. Once again, it would be the people of Michigan and the state to whom Enbridge's risk would be transferred.
This is a good example of the many ways in which the public has subsidized fossil fuel companies. Their risk has been 'socialized' by transferring it to us so that greater profits can be enjoyed by the companies' shareholders. This cannot continue, particularly when burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to climate change.
If Enbridge's proposal is accepted, it should be on condition of posting billions of dollars as a cash bond against any damages caused by failure of the pipeline. It should be high enough that it eliminates any risk of damages that might be experienced by both the state and the public.
Then lets see if Enbridge thinks it is such a great idea!

zooman
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 12:50pm

I totally agree with everything Paul says, and he makes an often overlooked point about the fact that Line 5 also poses risks other risks. The potential damage it poses to land, inland waters, and private property should definitely be part of the discussion as well as a real concern given Enbridge's history of pipeline failures, non-compliance, etc. The cost of any cleanup if the pipeline fails under or near the straits could quite possibly drive Enbridge to file for bankruptcy (as Purdue Pharmaceuticals is threatening to do as a bargaining tactic with the numerous lawsuits filed against it over opioid marketing). I like Paul's idea of requiring a bond to be filed.

Jeff
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 1:22pm

If the tunnel and pipeline are constructed correctly, the chance of a leak and explosion as you describe would be nearly impossible, but it is up to the state to make sure it is done that way. Your theory of "transferring risk", and the mentioning of a bond are stupid because they are already completely financially responsible for anything that might happen as the result of a failure on the very old lines they purchased. If a truck hauling crude oil over the Mackinac Bridge rolled over and exploded, the bridge would be out of commission for a solid year, if not more and could easily kill 100 people. Using it as a justification of how the public has subsidized fossil fuel companies has to be the worst attempt at a play on words in the history of the world. A subsidy is a direct cash payment to a business or person by the government, period. The only time the government subsidized the fossil fuel industry was during WW2 in order to be able to produce the best gasoline possible for military use. Using this theory would mean the auto industries would be continuously subsidized.

leonard page
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 2:59pm

where do you get the idea that michigan must serve as a permanent shortcut to get western canada's oil products to Sarnia? show me were that obligation exists. you deliberately confuse the concept of liability with the reality of payment or recovery by the victims. assume oil spill damages and claims are $45 billion and enbridge goes bankrupt. now who pays the victims and the state and federal clean up costs?

Bernard Petersen
Mon, 09/02/2019 - 4:37pm

Why are we assuming there will be an oil spill at all?
Build the pipeline safely. No spills. End of story.
This is enviro-terrorist fear-mongering at its finest.

Tom
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 2:13pm

The ideas that are the most dangerous here are your beliefs that that Line 5 should be shut down without any consideration for the negative consequences it would cause to the people who are dependent on fossil fuel for their jobs, transportation or to heat their homes and keep the lights on. There is no subsidy for Enbridge here. They cover the costs of their risks and they have agreed to pay the entire cost fo building and maintaining the tunnel even though they will be giving ownership over to a state commission. What Michigan gets is the safest pipeline corridor in the world and access to the energy it needs to to meet the demands of the future. The Governor and the AG should get out of the way so this project can be completed as soon as possible.

leonard page
Sat, 08/31/2019 - 9:02am

540,000 barrels of day going 645 miles down line 5 daily from canada to sarnia. On a daily basis, 1300 barrels are stripped out at rapid river for 12000 yooper customers. another 33,000 barrels are delivered to detroit marathon which has a daily capacity of 130,000 barrels. dynamic risk alternative study of 2017 found that a shutdown or rupture would cost us 1-2 cents a gallon for gas at pumps. yoopers getting propane from rapid river would have to pay up to five cents more per gallon. line 5 has leaked 33 times spilling over 1.1 million gallons. the negative consequences of a worst case spill in the great lakes per the mich tech study of 2018 is 2.5 million gallons. why should we take any risk at all to get western canada oil products to sarnia?

Yooper4
Tue, 09/03/2019 - 3:01pm

No matter how many times you post the same inaccurate information does not make it true! You continually ignore the petroleum from Line 5 that gets delivered to the Toledo area refineries. I'm sure you are aware of this as it was noted in the Crain's article from direct quotes from the Toledo representatives who stated that 75% of the jet fuel used at DTW and many of the Midwest's regional refineries was originally light crude oil transported by Line 5.

leonard page
Wed, 09/04/2019 - 4:27pm

get enbridge to give you the volumes supplied outside michigan. why won't they supply that info? --no refinery is ever dependent on one source of supply--same with metro airport.
Toledo PBF Refinery

Enbridge’s and fossil-fuel industry allies have a track record of false and unsubstantiated claims and lack of transparency.
The numbers are inflated:
Enbridge and refineries and some politicians are misleading the public. They falsely claim that the 2 Toledo refineries and 1 Detroit refinery, and by extension the jobs there, are fully and wholly dependent on Line 5, including a large number of jobs at these refineries. The refineries supposedly affected are: Marathon – Detroit; BP-Husky-Toledo – which carries no Line 5 feedstock because it’s a tar sands refinery that takes feedstock from Line 78 (formerly Line 6B), and PBF-Toledo. PBF states in its 2018 annual report for stockholders that it “processes a slate of light crude oils from Canada, the Mid-continent and the U.S. Gulf Coast.”
The refineries rely on multiple pipelines and suppliers, and they say so in writing.
Marathon refinery primarily uses dilbit, which Line 5 doesn’t currently carry.

Detroit Metro Airport

In a letter to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine claimed, “our refineries supply the majority of aviation fuels to Detroit Metro Airport” and asserted shutdown of Line 5 would lead to airline schedule disruptions.
But 2020 jet fuel consumption at Detroit Metro will total 1,658,000 gallons per day, according to a 2010 estimate by the airport. Based on numbers published by PBF, BP Husky and Marathon Refineries, Line 5 appears to supply only about 10% of the jet fuel at Detroit Metro Airport, not 40% as claimed by Ohio Gov. DeWine. Both Marathon and PBF have other crude oil sources, and therefore other pipelines could provide feedstock to satisfy regional jet fuel needs. Alternatively, other nearby refineries in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio could make up this shortfall.

Bottom line: Shutting down Line 5 will protect hundreds of thousands of jobs. A Line 5 shutdown would not significantly impact jobs at Toledo refineries. There is absolutely no evidence that a shutdown would impair operations at Detroit Metro Airport. Toledo PBF Refinery

Enbridge’s and fossil-fuel industry allies have a track record of false and unsubstantiated claims and lack of transparency.
The numbers are inflated:
Enbridge and refineries and some politicians are misleading the public. They falsely claim that the 2 Toledo refineries and 1 Detroit refinery, and by extension the jobs there, are fully and wholly dependent on Line 5, including a large number of jobs at these refineries. The refineries supposedly affected are: Marathon – Detroit; BP-Husky-Toledo – which carries no Line 5 feedstock because it’s a tar sands refinery that takes feedstock from Line 78 (formerly Line 6B), and PBF-Toledo. PBF states in its 2018 annual report for stockholders that it “processes a slate of light crude oils from Canada, the Mid-continent and the U.S. Gulf Coast.”
The refineries rely on multiple pipelines and suppliers, and they say so in writing.
Marathon refinery primarily uses dilbit, which Line 5 doesn’t currently carry.

Detroit Metro Airport

In a letter to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine claimed, “our refineries supply the majority of aviation fuels to Detroit Metro Airport” and asserted shutdown of Line 5 would lead to airline schedule disruptions.
But 2020 jet fuel consumption at Detroit Metro will total 1,658,000 gallons per day, according to a 2010 estimate by the airport. Based on numbers published by PBF, BP Husky and Marathon Refineries, Line 5 appears to supply only about 10% of the jet fuel at Detroit Metro Airport, not 40% as claimed by Ohio Gov. DeWine. Both Marathon and PBF have other crude oil sources, and therefore other pipelines could provide feedstock to satisfy regional jet fuel needs. Alternatively, other nearby refineries in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio could make up this shortfall.

Bottom line: Shutting down Line 5 will protect hundreds of thousands of jobs. A Line 5 shutdown would not significantly impact jobs at Toledo refineries. There is absolutely no evidence that a shutdown would impair operations at Detroit Metro Airport.Toledo PBF Refinery

Enbridge’s and fossil-fuel industry allies have a track record of false and unsubstantiated claims and lack of transparency.
The numbers are inflated:
Enbridge and refineries and some politicians are misleading the public. They falsely claim that the 2 Toledo refineries and 1 Detroit refinery, and by extension the jobs there, are fully and wholly dependent on Line 5, including a large number of jobs at these refineries. The refineries supposedly affected are: Marathon – Detroit; BP-Husky-Toledo – which carries no Line 5 feedstock because it’s a tar sands refinery that takes feedstock from Line 78 (formerly Line 6B), and PBF-Toledo. PBF states in its 2018 annual report for stockholders that it “processes a slate of light crude oils from Canada, the Mid-continent and the U.S. Gulf Coast.”
The refineries rely on multiple pipelines and suppliers, and they say so in writing.
Marathon refinery primarily uses dilbit, which Line 5 doesn’t currently carry.

Detroit Metro Airport

In a letter to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine claimed, “our refineries supply the majority of aviation fuels to Detroit Metro Airport” and asserted shutdown of Line 5 would lead to airline schedule disruptions.
But 2020 jet fuel consumption at Detroit Metro will total 1,658,000 gallons per day, according to a 2010 estimate by the airport. Based on numbers published by PBF, BP Husky and Marathon Refineries, Line 5 appears to supply only about 10% of the jet fuel at Detroit Metro Airport, not 40% as claimed by Ohio Gov. DeWine. Both Marathon and PBF have other crude oil sources, and therefore other pipelines could provide feedstock to satisfy regional jet fuel needs. Alternatively, other nearby refineries in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio could make up this shortfall.

leonard page
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 2:54pm

good luck with that. the 1953 easement at section J required enbridge to indemnify and hold harmless all oil spill victims from all damages thru a 3rd party bond or insurance policy. Snyder gutted that protection in his October 2017 agreement. this language was removed in the new section J. Instead we have a "financial assurance" pledge, backed mostly by corporate equity paper promises (self insurance). damages are capped at just under $1.9 billion. In a 2.5 million gallon worst case oil spill oiling 740 miles of great lakes shoreline, damages could be $45 billion (richardson study of 2018) -- meaning enbridge files for bankruptcy and its equity if frozen to be allocated among all creditors. general creditors usually get pennies on the dollar in bankruptcy. who would ever trust enbridge?

Jeff
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 1:24pm

Apparently Mr. Cooley isn't aware Governor Granholm tried to get the pipeline shut down and the courts told her it couldn't be under the language of the contract.

Jeff
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 1:24pm

Apparently Mr. Cooley isn't aware Governor Granholm tried to get the pipeline shut down and the courts told her it couldn't be under the language of the contract.

leonard page
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 2:43pm

there is no enforceable timetable for completion of the proposed tunnel. In august 4, 2017 enbridge wrote that any tunnel project would be postponed by "significant delays" during permitting. ( thus admitting it would have problems complying with state and fedeal law). the reality is that the tunnel is nothing but a smokescreen which will never be built--this is a diversion to allow 23 million gallons of western canadian oil to be pumped daily to sarnia for the canadain market and export. get ready for the next anchor strike during this indefinite and paper only project.

Kevin V.
Sat, 08/31/2019 - 1:14pm

I have yet to see anyone that is against the pipeline indicate they bought an electric vehicle to help curtail the consumption of fossil fuels. Are those against the pipeline also willing to pay a higher gas tax to offset the cost of redirecting the pipeline? If so , they willing to pay up to$5/gallon to offset this cost? It all comes down to what people want and how much is it worth paying based on the demand.

leonard page
Sun, 09/01/2019 - 4:32pm

line 5 supplies detroit marathon with all of 1.5% of michigan's daily gasoline consumption. Dynamic RISK ALTERNATIVE STUDY OF 2017 (paid for by Enbridge) found that a shudown or rupture in line 5 would cause at the pump prices for gasoline to go up 1-2 cents a gallon. you say the jump will be to $5 - without any source citation. there is this new app called google. check the websites for OWDM, FLOW, TIP OF THE MIT. The issue here is avoiding a 2.5 million gallon spill of western canadian oil in the Great Lakes (Mich tech risk study of 2018). if you do the slightest bit of research people might listen. by the way - nothing in law, treaty or commons sense requires michigan to serve as a permanent shortcut to get western canadian oil to sarnia for the canadian market or for export. what people want is the elimination of any risk of any kind to the great lakes. -- at a cost of 1-2 cents a gallon - the solution is a no brainer---get the septic tank out of the great lakes basin.

Bek
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 6:08pm

TICK-TOCK ,TICK-TOCK,
ENTROPY continues along the pipeline.
Building the concrete condom will take too long to mitigate a catastrophe.

Lance Stokes, Ph.D.
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 6:22pm

I fully concur with Mr. Cooley's presentation. Very well written with strong supporting documentation. I also underscore Mr. Jordan's suggestion below: "If Enbridge's proposal is accepted, it should be on condition of posting billions of dollars as a cash bond against any damages caused by failure of the pipeline. It should be high enough that it eliminates any risk of damages that might be experienced by both the state and the public."

duane
Sat, 08/31/2019 - 9:41pm

There is no justification of a cash bond other than attempt to confiscate property without due process. Even the suggestion of a cash bond is nothing more that a blatant effort to close the pipeline and financially damage Enbridge.
A reasonable person would identify the potential events and their consequences to the pipeline so preventive actions could be taken. As in the case of the tunnel a reasonable person would share with the State and Enbridge why and how they would expect the tunnel and the pipeline would fail so the knowledgeable people could take appropriate actions to prevent those risks. It is an established practice for organization to purchase bonding/insurance to pay for worst case scenarios, this allows experts to make an evaluation and set a price for such coverage while allowing the contracting organization to continue to operate.

leonard page
Sun, 09/01/2019 - 4:40pm

a third party bond or insurance is established to protect victims of high risk operation from bankruptcy from the operator of a high risk business. that why the 1953 easement at section J had that requirement --at a level to pay all damages from an oil spiii --which gov snyder negatotiated away last year in his October 2018 agreement with enbridge. so now all the water properties and businesses in the upper great lakes bear most of the risk of a worst case spill of 2.5 million gallons. (Mich tech risk study of 2018) MSU richardason study 2018 put the damages at $8.3 to $45 billion. the appropriate action is either to have a sufficent 3rd party insurer to every last penny of damages or to shut the septic tank down tonite.

duane
Tue, 09/03/2019 - 11:27am

You seem to put great weight on academic risk study, but I wonder if you realize that the study didn't include consideration of established technologies that could prevent/mitigate the release scenario they project would cost billions to cleanup. Its much like the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services excluding seat belts when figuring the cost of auto insurance.
A value to allowing Enbridge to use a banding agency [insurance policy], established bonding/iinsurance companies of the size that would be credible do a detailed rsik assessment that considers technologies that will prevent/mitigate the risk, at times even include implementation of such technologies s a condition for a policy, and they will periodically verify that the policy is being conformed to. Their efforts minimize political agendas and emotions, they are focused on results and actual risks.
You may want to force the pipeline closed by placing an unjustified financial burden on Enbridge, but just as the academic study was detached from reality so is the rationale for a cash bond.

Would you require every home owner that has a propane tank, a gas can, a container of flamables to post a cash bond and would it be based on what damage such materials could contribute to?

leonard page
Wed, 09/04/2019 - 4:52pm

which risk study-- the michigan tech risk study of 2018 or the two dr. robert richardson study of 2017 and 2018. you need to be more specific on how these studies are defective. you should read them - trying to dismiss them as "academic" just shows how amazingly weak you are on the facts. so you think self insurance capped at less than 1,9 billion is adequate to remedy all damages in a 2.5 million gallon spill oiling 740 miles of upper great lakes shoreline. the 2010 marshall spill cost enbridge about $1.2 billion and it was a rather confined area without huge water areas, currents, winds and weather issues. a spill in the great lakes is a much more difficult problem than a 20 foot wide creek. who should be protected --the oil and gas industry or the victims of its high risk operations? ask the people of marshall how things are there almost 10 years after the spill. if you want to operate a high risk operation, who should pay the damages when the disaster strikes? i repeat- why risk the great lakes in any way to get canadian oil to sarnia.

duane
Thu, 09/05/2019 - 12:06am

I believe it was the Michigan Tech study that was doing a 'risk analysis' of a catastrophic failure of the pipeline wih no mitigation or prevent considerations, effectively the line drain out [from both the north and south] without obstruction, they projected the worse possible harm. I believe that is the basis for the $45 billion clean up estimate.
The flaw, weakness, or distortion of a risk assessment is the consideration of proven or plausible devices or actions that would change the impact of the risk. The assessment would be similar to assessing the risk of a hot water in a home and ignoring the relief value install on the water heater tank. Without a relief value a water heater failure could blow the tank from the basement through the roof of a two story house and nearly 100 feet into the air, and get with that simple relief value the tank operates safely and will not have a catastrophic failure, and no cleanup.
Another concern I have with the Tech study it makes no effort to identify or even suggest what could/must happen for their worst case scenario to occur. This forces all logic to be dispensed with and acceptance that a mystical force is controlly nature and will soon send a lightening bolt to cause their worst case incident.
The reality is that there are thousands of situations around the world where disciplined risk assessment/risk management protocols are applied to highly hazardous operations, it has been for generation, by private companies [even before Michigan Tech knew there was such a practice and they were funded to develop to formalize such practices to help spread the knowledge and skills utilized in such protocols.
I repeat, simply because there is a risk doesn't mean that everything has to stop so the risk will be avoided.
You seem to feel that anyone who suggest that simply shutting the pipeline in so how trying to defend or justify Enbridge and the operations of pipelines, that is a politically driven attitude that disregards both the facts and the unintended consequences unjustified stopping activities.

leonard page
Thu, 09/05/2019 - 12:33pm

thanks for admitting you have never looked at the risk studies completer by the michigan tech group or dr. robert richardson. if you had you would have "discovered" that they both looked at published and accepted definitions of worst case. that definition assume human mitigation efforts or safety controls relying on power on not available (ala fukishima) worst case by definition assumes a disaster- power failures, bridge closure, etc. the april 1, 2018 anchor drag was a good example. again it was followed by a heavy three day blizzard which kept even the coast guard out of the straits. now that the line is held 2-4 feet off the lakebed - perfect height for anchor flukes-- what happens with a 2.5 milbslion gallon rupture in a harsh winter storm. -- a disaster beyond comprehension is the answer.

by the way, the michigan tech study came up with a damage figure of $1.878 billion which was used by snyder to cap the liability under the new enbridge financial assurance mechanism signed on oct 3, 2018 (self insurance which is almost useless in bankruptcy for recovery by general creditor claiming damages). richardson originally came up with an $8.3 billion dollar damage figure which he adjusted to $45 billion after seeing that a soo lock failure would cause enormous shipping delays per government studies. ( likewise the coast guard will not let ships go thru an oil spill area) again why take on a risk of this magnitude when almost 95% of the volume in line 5 goes to sarnia?

duane
Fri, 09/06/2019 - 12:20am

leonard,
Your ‘good example’ of damage by an anchor, as best I can tell caused no leaks, no damage that required shutdown and immediate action, no required changes by the state in Enbridge practices.
I said after reading that academic [which excluded people that did risk assessments and place their careers on the line with their recommendation and action plans, it was all academics] my concern was that the assessment team did not identify to any possible causes for the worst case scenario they were assessing, they in effect basing their assessment on a scenario made out of whole cloth and they compounded this by excluding any consideration of how all the harm their scenario project could have been prevented or mitigated. This suggest their purpose was to provide a high dollar value excuse for those who want to shut down the pipeline to use to scare people into unjustified actions.
The academics that made your dream assessment did nothing more than provide a multi-billion dollar prices to a situation that could be prevented with a 6 figure solution.
Where did pull the idea of self-insurance out of, I said an international bonding or insurance organization. I even described why more than money it would be even more effective than a state agency requirement because Enbridge would have to agree to any requirements stipulated by the bonding company for coverage, where a state mandated action such as shutting down the pipeline would go through court proceeding for years if not longer.

Don
Sun, 09/01/2019 - 9:15am

Who gave them a permit to do test drilling ???

Aaron
Sun, 09/01/2019 - 9:46am

Total support line 5 Tunnel the lefts telling you that this would cause a pollution problem then shut down and close Mackinac bridge when it rains there is more oil pollution goes into Lake Michigan an Lake Huron from the leaking oil from cars and trucks going over the bridge than would ever happen for a leak from line 5. As far as that goes any road that has storm drains that don't go through a sewage treatment plant that water and oil go into lakes it is refined product along with the additives and detergents go into the water column and stay there, Crude oil come's from nature and will go back to nature although toxic it still is in it's natural state. 99.9 tents of all problem with leaks in pipe line's are caused by Man digging where they are not suppose to or not checking with miss dig or dragging anchor where known pipe line is that line has been on charts for years

leonard page
Sun, 09/01/2019 - 4:45pm

another low information enbridger comes out. try reading the michigan tech study of 2018 which puts a worst case spill at 2.5 million gallons. you do know that line 5 has leaked 33 times spilling 1.1 million gallons. the anchor drag of april 1, 2018 can happen again at any time--who cares about the cause? there is this new app called google that most try to use to avoid looking like a fool.

Bernard Petersen
Mon, 09/02/2019 - 4:42pm

How often in the 53 yrs of this tunnel's operation has there been an "anchor drag" such as the 2018 incident? Once. And that one incident caused no leaks. Zero. And Mr. Page, you are worried about this happening again "at any time". Sure. It can happen at anytime. So can a zombie apocalypse. Jeezus, you guys make me laugh.......

leonard page
Tue, 09/03/2019 - 10:20am

line 5 is not a tunnel --it is an oil pipeline now 66 years old (originally life expectancy of 50 years) running thru 645 miles of the great lakes basin. the formula is risk = probability times consequences. talk to an underwriter or a risk manager. line 5 which has leaked 33 times is considered a high risk operation. there have been a number of anchor drags in the straits. the one that dented and gouged line 5 occured on april 1, 2018 and was followed by a blizzard which kept all ships out for 3 days. yes another anchor drag can occur at any time if a ship has navigation problems in the straits. you prefer the risk of a 2.5 million oil spill so we can pump canadian oil to sarnia?

leonard page
Mon, 09/02/2019 - 10:01am

mich tech study of 2018 puts a worst case spill in straits at 2.5 million gallons. msu richardson damage study of 2018 put damages at $6.3 to 45 BILLION. industries operating high risk activities are routinely required to maintain third party bonds or insurance to avoid the harsh reality of bankruptcy which leaves most damage claims getting mere pennies on the dollar. the snyder agreement of october changed the obligation of enbridge to provide for 3rd party funds to cover "all damage claims". now enbridge has a "financial assurance plan" capped at $1.9 billion and backed primarily by corporate equity (at least on paper). problem is corporate equity is frozen when entity files for bankruptcy. general creditors then usually gets pennies on the dollar.

duane
Wed, 09/04/2019 - 3:00pm

The disappointing this is that the academic risk assessment study you place great weight on failed to include any consideration for long established means/methods for preventing/mitigating such risks. It would be like auto insurance rates being set without including considerations of seatbelts, brakes, etc.
The benefits from allowing a company using a bonding agency such as international insurance/reinsurance companies are that they make a separate risk assessment that includes available technologies, which they can require as a condition of the bonding, to set policy rates and protect their financial interests, and their bonding is independent of bankruptcy [they can be contracted for the event not the company].
There is a downside to allowing a company to use a bonding agency is that they rely on proven protocols for risk assessment using when trained and experienced assessors, it takes out the emotional appeal made by those motivated by a political agenda.