Opinion | Great Lakes need protection. But shutting Line 5 is foolish.

Steve Bucci

Steve Bucci is a former Pentagon official now serving as a visiting research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He is a resident of Grand Rapids.

Everyone living near the Great Lakes loves, respects and wants to protect them. The beauty and survival of America’s greatest water asset is non-negotiable. That said, common sense needs to be applied.

Ultimately, the decision about what to do with Line 5 under the Mackinac Straits shouldn’t be made solely on emotion, in deference to the oil industry, or the green wing of any party. 

First, some facts: Line 5 has been operating responsibly for more than six decades and last year’s anchor strike was an anomaly. Anchoring in proximity of the pipeline is not allowed and therefore should’ve never happened. The line sustained damage, but thankfully it didn’t leak. No one should take that happy outcome as evidence that it never will. Action is required and it needs to be taken in earnest.

Michigan still has three possible courses of action: do nothing, close down the line or take mitigating action to prevent future leaks but leave the pipeline in operation.  

First, the “do nothing” option is foolish. We dodged a bullet; we might not be so lucky in the future. Enbridge, the pipeline operator, immediately developed and put into motion a plan. They will pay for the entire project and ensure the future protection of the lakes. This differs from BP’s reaction to the Gulf of Mexico spill; Enbridge is acting responsibly.  

The second choice: close it down is a knee-jerk reaction that is nearly as unwise as the do-nothing path. To shut down the line immediately, as some elected officials have proposed (demanded actually), makes no sense. There is no immediate threat. The line isn’t leaking and prudent actions have been taken to prevent a repeat of the anchor strike scenario. If an accident did occur, the increased monitoring would allow for an immediate shutdown. That would still be bad, but not BP in the Gulf bad.  

So that leaves the middle of the road. Action is needed, but we do have the time to do it correctly, in a manner that doesn’t add to the economic challenges Michigan already faces.  

Line 5 has an enormously beneficial effect on Michigan’s economy. Enbridge alone pumps close to $160 million in taxes, wages and capital expenditures into Michigan; shutting down the line would severely curtail that. The cost of fuel refined in southern Michigan (and neighboring Ohio) would skyrocket if left to be transported by truck, the most likely alternative to the line. There are also hidden infrastructure costs accrued through the thousands of additional tanker trucks.  

Ideology shouldn’t drive this decision, nor should corporate greed. Take the middle road; Continue the already started mitigation plan, which will provide a protected pipeline for decades to come. Put in place the protections our lakes deserve without placing the burden on the backs of working-class Michiganders.  

The Enbridge mitigation project is a prime example of the types of inter-country energy infrastructure projects that sustain our highly integrated and interdependent North American energy market built with our United States – Mexico - Canada (USMCA) trading partners. We bring in raw materials from Canada and Mexico, convert them to higher-value products and then resell them. As a result, we have seen tremendous value creation and investment happening across the North American energy industry.

This sort of systemic integration enhances U.S. energy security by enabling North American energy self-sufficiency. These types of pipeline modernization projects will only further bolster our nation’s energy security by allowing us to meet the demands of consumers and businesses efficiently while sustaining an energy market that provides millions of jobs across the country. 

Finally, prematurely decommissioning a project like Line 5 and halting investments in critical energy transmission infrastructure would immediately disrupt the energy supply for Michigan residents, businesses and U.S. refineries. Jobs will be lost. In the longer term, it would undermine the system that NAFTA has built and USMCA intends to sustain. 

Let’s protect the lakes and the people of Michigan.

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

Mark Sloan
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 8:50am

So the Heritage Foundation favors corporations over the environment. Next!

Bek
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 9:14am

Steve,
The pentagon, heritage foundation and Grand Rapids in you resume add up to a perfect storm of ultra right wing ideation in your thinking and writing.
We with emotions also have brains.

Dan Moerman
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 9:24am

The notion that the tunnel is the ONLY option here is nonsense. Enbridge maintains a dozen or more pipelines in the US and Canada. Two, in particular, go from (roughly) Southern Manitoba to Sarnia. One, of course, is line 5, running under the Straits, near the Mackinac Bridge. The other runs southeast thru North Dakota, and Wisconsin, and goes SOUTH of Lake Michigan, near Chicago. Both re-enter Canada near Sarnia. The western pipeline, "Line 6" (fancy that!) and line 78, running thru southern Michigan, could probably be enhanced for much less than the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to do a temporary fix on Line 5. (It will, of course, be a "temporary fix.") Google "Enbridge Pipelines" to see the map. Clearly, there are other ways to move this oil and gas without going under the Mackinac Straits. There are other ways to move this fuel, thru existing infrastructure, without endangering Lakes Michigan and Huron as happens now.

Rick Anderson
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 9:27am

The article submitted by the Heritage Foundation is the opinion of a conservative think tank.
This foundation supports fossil fuel interests.

David Wolf
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 9:52am

Considering that Line 5 has already exceeded its design life by 30% (1.5 decades past its design life), how does the writer define "prematurely" decommissioning that line?

When someone puts a "30-Year Roof" on their house, they can reasonably expect thirty years of satisfactory performance from that asset. As the thirty year limit approaches, the reasonable approach is to make plans to replace that asset before it begins to leak - not just wait until after leaking has started, causing damage to the entire structure.

The existing line has exceeded its expected lifetime and it's time for it to go. Period. The health of the Great Lakes should not be subject to the whims of a business (foreign or domestic) desperately trying to wring the last few dollars of out an aging structure, the failure of which would be catastrophic to the Great Lakes, Michigan and its residents.

Matt
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 11:33am

So ... we should take it that you are in favor of requiring Embridge to spend $500 Mil to put new line in bedrock deep below the lakebed?

Roger Gauthier
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 9:18am

Matt: Your response is misleading on so many fronts .... a tunnel option is not a solution to eliminating the risk. First foremost, the tunnel will take at least 5 to 7 years to become a reality, meanwhile Enbridge continues to pump 23 million gallons of oil daily through clearly degrading pipelines elevated off the bottom of the Straits. Second, the $500 million estimate is only a ''planning estimate" which are notoriously under-estimates by the time detailed engineering specifications are determined. Third, the bottom of the Straits is not "bedrock"; the tunnel will have to be reinforced with substantial concrete because it is going through "unconsolidated materials" composed of clays, sands, rubble, cobble, etc. Fourth and most important, Enbridge is allowed to forsake constructing the tunnel at any time, if they determine its not in there interest. The tunnel option is simply a ruse to keep pumping oil until the line fails.

Jake
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 9:55pm

Where's your citation for the "design life" of Line 5? This claim seems to be wholly fictitious, not to mention irrelevant. As a comparison, what do you think was the "design life" of the Brooklyn Bridge? Surely we are well past it, no? So should we just tear it down?

Nonsense, all of it.

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:51pm

Have you ever driven under the Ambassador Bridge. It's crumbling and very poorly maintained by evil billionaire trolls.

Zach
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:06am

I like the lack of facts, evidence and cited sources he uses to support his opinion. Why would Bridge allow such a crappy opinion piece?

J. Katakowski
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:09pm

I totally agree the Bridge seems to be getting more Republican by the each day. Sad to see this. Instead of a reply how about a thumbs up or down on a comment. If you need to explain or comment than leave the ability to do that. Thanks for the time.

J. Katakowski
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:10pm

I totally agree the Bridge seems to be getting more Republican by each day. Sad to see this. Instead of a reply how about a thumbs up or down on a comment. If you need to explain or comment, than leave the ability to do that. Thanks for the time.

Timothy Janssen
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:11am

Worked for the war machine anf the Heritage Abomination? Typical double talking gnome.

Al Warner
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:35am

"We" have "achieved" 415 ppm CO2 in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, well away from all of the man-made sources. We are now seeing significant losses in our economy from global warming. Opinions like this do not deserve a public forum anymore. A 50-75 year investment in Line 5 will become yet another stranded asset of fossil fuel infrastructure. We have just 10 years to change the status quo and the status quo is what this opinion is all about.

Jake
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 9:56pm

Thank you Al Warner, for being the self-appointed arbiter of which opinions "deserve" a public forum, and which do not.

TreeTownCartel
Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:04am

So you are saying we should switch power to what exactly? Certainly not wind or solar - ( https://www.apnews.com/933b49681b0d47d3a005d356f35251ab ) it is worse than fossil fuels. Biomass - just burning trees, how can that be good (it releases more CO2 than coal). Can't do hydroelectric ( https://energyinformative.org/hydroelectric-energy-pros-and-cons/ ), think of the poor fish! Maybe nuclear, or is that an evil source also.

I guess there is no good solution, so maybe we go back to living like it was the 1800's again and we can all make our own source of light and heat (wait, more burning trees). Lets just end the human overpopulation and all will be well!

Kathi Geukes
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:35am

The fact that this person works for the Heritage foundation says it all...you don't live here...you won't be impacted....we do and we care about our Great lakes...and besides...opinions are like.....you know...everyone's got one!!!!

Matt
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 11:45am

Please read the article ... he lives in Grand Rapids, which, btw gets its water from Lake Mich.

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:58pm

It doesn't mean that he actually drinks tap water from the lake. He probably drinks and bathes in Perrier, like Betsy DeVos.

Bones
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:42am

What an absolute joke

Matt
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 11:28am

So ... you don't want Embridge to make their line less risky by putting it deep in bedrock under the lakebed?

Jim
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 1:29pm

It won't be risky at all if it is shut down. So the choice is shut it down now, or shut it down after it eventually erupts causing an environmental and financial catastrophe for my area when it erupts. Easy decision!

Matt
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 3:03pm

Jim. This is always the problem. Your side wants the state to seize a privately owned investment for an occurance/risk that your side can't and won't accurately define, nor truthfully admit, (since this is really all about CO2 and not pipeline leakage). That is an extremely dangerous precedent. Verses letting Embridge spend a half a billion dollars to remedy your advertised concern over a leak and let the public cheer the victory? That's an earsier decesion yet!

Bones
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 9:16am

The pipeline will continue to be active for another five years without protection, which is bad. The fact that a half-billion dollar investment into an energy source that we cannot use after the next decade if we want to prevent wide scale ecological catastrophe is worse. Stop carrying water for the people raping this planet for a buck, you stupid, evil old goat

Matt
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 11:17am

Ah Bones setting aside from your rapier wit(lessness), since when did a corporation squandering a half billion dollars bother your Marxist conscience (if that a thing with you?)?

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 11:00pm

Fascist, say what?

Josh
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 3:26pm

Honest question here: Every time I read about this issue the only options presented appear to be 1.) Leave the existing pipeline open while digging the new, safer pipeline and 2.) Shut down the existing pipeline and do not replace it.

Is it not an option to shut down the existing pipeline but also build the safer replacement? To me that seems like the most prudent course. Have I missed something?

Rita Mitchell
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 8:21pm

The safe replacement option is to implement renewable energy resources as soon as possible. Let's support the UP to lead in getting off fossil fuel, being energy independent, and having good paying local jobs in the green energy industry. No need for pipelines if you use sunlight and wind. BTW, Germany is doing well with using wind and solar energy, and it is located farther north than Marquette.
https://e360.yale.edu/digest/renewables-generated-a-record-65-percent-of...
We can do it, get off fossil fuels, that is.

Matt
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 11:23am

As usual the crowd of Bridge commenters can only focus on the irrelevant fact that writer was associated with a conservative think tank rather than address the specific points of his argument. I would hope for better, but alas this always just degrades into dogma and tribalism. Has Bridge ever considered a question and answer type format for these pieces? Not sure how it would work but would be much more interesting. Maybe require entries to be a relevant question rather than boring memes?

Bek
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:08pm

“ usual crowd of Bridge commentators “
“ dogma and tribalism “
Your Ad Hominem attacks are what is irrelevant- learn some facts and discuss them.

Matt
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 7:59am

And ....you would be exhibit A. Since none of your previous accusations against the author have a thing to do with the subject. Or maybe you don't understand the definitions here or just a lame attempt at being snarky?

Bones
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 9:14am

Kick rocks Matt. It's a fact-free opinion piece from a man who worked for the think tank that shares a lot of responsibility for destroying America on behalf of the ultra-wealthy.

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 11:10pm

If you notice, the majority of the comments here supports shutting down Line 5, because it's outlived it's 50 year life span, it's damaged, crumbling, leaking, and most of all Enbridge has a history of LYING. We don't want another Kalamazoo river disaster caused by greedy Enbridge. If Michigan didn't have such obscene gerrymandering, you wouldn't be so surprised to know that the majority of Michiganders are progressive democrats and our government would actually reflect our values rather than corrupt lobbyists like the Heritage foundation and the Koch brothers.

Don
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 12:20pm

Who gave them a permit to start testing for the new line>>> The DEQ????

John Bodewadmi
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 1:23pm

Notice he left out one of the biggest inland oil spills in history, biggest oil spill ever in Michigan, 2nd largest ever for ENBRIDGE in Marshall, Michigan.. nice try by the conservatarts to try & sweep that one under the rug!!!

Susan Bennett
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 5:00pm

I doubt the economic benefits outlined in this article. How many Michiganders do they actually employ? The refining looks like it is all done in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Kevin
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 6:53pm

Should the pipeline be shutdown, what percentage of the oil(gasoline, diesel,fuel oil, etc) and natural gas supply utilized by the businesses and residents of Michigan be impacted? How much would the price of these required items increase? What about the supply of electricity and the price of that electricity, much of which is generated using the fuels above? How would the price increases impact the employers of Michigan? How many employees would lose their jobs? How many residents that are barely keeping their heads above water at today’s prices wouldn’t be able to survive if the costs of those necessities went up? What about the increases in the prices of goods and services due to the increased production and transportation costs? I would guess that there are economists and analysts that could provide answers to these questions. Unfortunately the politicians and most commenting on this post aren’t interested in those impacts. Arbitrary and immediate changes to energy infrastructure have far reaching impacts that must be considered.

David Frye
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 7:14pm

Giving Enbridge the public right of way to build an inherently hazardous pipeline was, at best, questionable when Line 5 was built decades ago.

Allowing it to continue in operation, with what we now know about its risky construction, the potential for a multi-billion dollar catastrophe, and Enbridge's questionable record cleaning up the earlier, smaller disaster in Kalamazoo? That is insane.

Shut it down. That is all.

Cindy M
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 8:50am

Where has this man been the past twenty years! We have been working decades to remove this time bomb from fresh water! His ideas? Too little; too late!

Gerry Niedermaier
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 9:05am

Same old, same old, from the group of millionaires who keep telling us what's best. Enbridge’s Line 6B spill as “the single most expensive on-shore spill in U.S. history,” according to the National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB). Moreover, the agency concluded that the Line 6B disaster was caused by corrosion fatigue cracks and the prolonged 17-hour spill, which “were made possible by pervasive organizational failures at Enbridge.” Enbridge lacks a credible worst-case scenario emergency response plan to recover oil. Enbridge lacks a credible plan to recover spilled oil when ice tops the Mackinac Straits. U.S. Coast Guard officials cannot respond at night when it is windy, wavy (over three feet), icy, or dark. Only 30% of an oil spill would be recovered under the best conditions, according Enbridge’s cleanup contractor. A Line 5 oil spill could deliver a blow of over $6 billion in economic impacts and natural resource damages to Michigan’s economy and could trigger a domino effect of damage disrupting Great Lakes commercial shipping and steel production, slashing jobs, and shrinking the nation’s Gross Domestic Product by $45 billion after just 15 days, according to the nationally respected ecological economist Robert Richardson of Michigan State University. Enbridge’s workforce includes only 96 Michigan-based permanent and temporary employees and provisioned contractors, while about 800,000 Michigan jobs are tied in some way to the clean water of the Great Lakes. In total, more than 1.5 million U.S. jobs are directly connected to the Great Lakes, generating $62 billion in wages tied to up-north tourism, agriculture, fishing, shipping and related industries, according to Michigan Sea Grant. Enbridge’s proposal to allow electrical lines and other infrastructure to occupy the proposed oil pipeline tunnel is a bad idea opposed by a U.P. electrical supplier and poses an explosion risk. Line 5 is not vital to the people of Michigan. Enbridge has more than enough dough to build a new line across Canada. It's their oil, let them ship it across Canada.

Diane
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 9:37am

Matt’s comments display a misplaced loyalty to the cult of fossil fuels. Line 5 should have been shut down decades ago. To permit a tunnel in OUR straits is will only perpetuate fossil fuel mediated extinctions. The author neglected consideration of indigenous Americans treaty rights and Enbridge’ s most recent fatality as a result of a pipeline explosion. Remember the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is a bad corporate citizen, they do not care about our water. Shut down Line 5.

Rita Mitchell
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 10:11am

The Straits represents 5 miles of Line 5's length. What about the risk of leaking presented by the remaining 640 miles of 66 year old pipeline that travels through the upper and lower peninsulas, under rivers, streams, and lakes? A tunnel will not protect those additional 640 aging miles of pipe from leaking, and there have been on-land leaks in the past. Read this article, which indicates that only one of the 29 leaks from Line 5 was identified by the Enbridge "leak detection systems". Far from reassuring.

https://www.mlive.com/news/2017/04/enbridge_line_5_spill_history.html

Enbridge, the same company that wants to continue to send its oil through the state of Michigan, has spent over $1 billion on the million gallon leak in Line 6B, and the area remains polluted.

https://beltmag.com/kalamazoo-river-line-6b-oil-spill/

Tunnel or no tunnel. It's time to shut down Line 5.

Rita Mitchell
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 10:33am

Mr. Bucci's comments show a shallow understanding of basic economics. In the tourism industry alone, Michigan gained over $22 billion (with a "B") in 2016. That's old data and likely much higher in 2019, and it's just one industry that is dependent on fresh water. He supports Enbridge because of $116 million in wages, etc.

https://www.mlive.com/news/2016/06/michigan_great_lakes_tourism.html

No. Time to shut down Line 5, before it shuts down Michigan.

Tom
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 10:46am

No need to even read this idiots opinion. He works for the Heritage Foundation!

Mike Talley
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 11:56am

The Heritage Foundation wouldn't have chimed in unless the Koch brothers had some kind of interest in this. Why am I not surprised?

Michael Bomer
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 1:47pm

"First, some facts: Line 5 has been operating responsibly for more than six decades and last year’s anchor strike was an anomaly. Anchoring in proximity of the pipeline is not allowed and therefore should’ve never happened. "
But it did happen. And here are others:
https://www.mlive.com/news/2017/04/enbridge_line_5_spill_history.html

Bill H.
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 5:02pm

Heritage Foundation? That is synonymous with oil industry executive or Republican lobbyist. Full of BS.

Augie
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 5:04pm

-The Kalamazoo spill--roughly 1 million gallons of thick, sticky Alberta tar sands crude oil entered into the river ecosystem in 2010 --was never satisfactorily cleaned up.
-In 2012 an Enbridge line spilled more than 50,000 gallons of crude oil in Wisconsin, which required 17,000 tons of contaminated soil to be removed.
-Also in 2012, an Enbridge line spilled more than 58,000 gallons of crude in Alberta.
-The Enbridge pipeline explosion in Kentucky early this month resulted in at least 1 death.
-A gas pipeline explosion in Ohio in January injured two people and damaged homes.
-A ruptured pipeline in BC in November of 2018 ignited and caused an evacuation of a First Nations territory in British Columbia.
These are the ones we know about. To trust Enbridge with our precious Great Lakes --water supply to the Midwest-- is a fool's errand.

Janet Schultz
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 5:28pm

Has a tunnel ever been constructed to protect an submerged oil line ? If so, when and where? Did/does it work?

middle of the mit
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:24am

As soon as the Heritage Foundation takes credit for the Affordable Care Act and declares it a Free Market based solution for healthcare in America, based on THEIR policy, then and ONLY then will I accept this policy.

Do you think, I think ,You will admit that?

As other people have said, Enbridge is not a reliable source of anything. Kalamazoo river?

I have a proposal.

All of you who think the pipeline shouldn't be replaced should contribute to a fund. Let's call it a Superfund site fund. Where how ever did I ever come up with that?

And when pipe bursts, 1 year, 5 years, 30 years from now, YOUR money goes to fix YOUR superfund site.

How do you do you like them terms?

Of course I would like to extend them terms to the State Republicans and how they had the ability to control a city and then they ran Flint like a biznizz.

And then they shirked responsibility.

Trust Republicans with the environment or anything?

Ha ha ha ha!!

leonard page
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 6:14am

dynamic risk alternative study of 2017 found that a line 5 shutdown would increase retail price of gasoline by only 1-2 cents a gallon in michigan. Mich tech risk study of 2018 determined a worst-cast spill in the straits would be 2.5 million gallons. MSU study of 2016 by david schwab said 740 miles of shoreline could be oiled. line 5 pumps 540,000 barrels or 23 million gallons of western canada oil products each day. 95% goes to sarnia. why risk the great lakes for any embellished level of benefits to Michigan? Michigan has no duty to serve as a permanent shortcut for getting canadian oil to sarnia.

Gary Lea
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 9:12am

Michigan's Kalamazoo river oil spill July 2010? Enbridge.

leonard page
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 9:49am

facts should still matter. line 5 pumps 540,000 barrels (23 million gallons) daily to sarnia. less than 35,000 barrels stay in Michigan. This is about 5% of total line volume. Specifially, about 33,000 for the detroit marathon refinery (capacity of 130,000) and `1300 barrels of propane for mid UP are stripped out at rapid river. Dynamic Risk Alternative Study of 2017 said shutdown would mean a 1-2 cent increase in retail price of gas. Same study also found three alternatives to get propane to rapid river - new 4 inch line from superior wisconsin or truck or rail. London Economics International Study of 2018 found later two options would mean a nickel bump in retail propane prices per gallon. mich tech risk study of 2018 predicted a worst case spill of 2.5 million gallons in the straits. why should michigan assume the slightest risk to get western Canadian oil products to Sarnia?

Jim
Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:07am

I certainly don't claim to be expert on this subject. What I will say is that the author has said "an accident "would be bad, but not BP in the gulf bad". So what?! Isn't the point that we can't/shouldn't allow ANY accident that would have such a serious impact on our lakes? Also, I've come across information, I admit I can't quote but I think came from here on Bridge, that has claimed Michigan doesn't see any of the oil coming through Line 5. I realize compromise is required from all of us, except when the consequences are so dire. Any spill into the lake would be tragic.

Mike
Sun, 08/18/2019 - 8:36am

I do not want to see Line 5 arbitrarily shut down by the government but I would like to see a strict law passed that would fully hold companies responsible for pollution they cause both civilly and criminally. In a nutshell, with line 5, if the pipe breaks and spills for any reason, the company and leaders should pay for all damages with no hiding behind bankruptcies or any such BS. The companies leaders (board and officers involved) should also have to spend at least 10 years in prison too.

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 11:27pm

That would be a great model for manufacturers and spreaders of PFAS too, ideally along with payment into a supersite fund! In the meantime, given the poor condition of Line 5 and history of Enbridge lies and previous spills, we should shut down Line 5 ASAP. Only good corporate citizens deserve the benefit of the doubt. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, Enbridge is the devil.

William Bailey
Sun, 08/18/2019 - 9:56am

The first rational assessment of the situation; our politicians are being irrisponsible with their
politically motivated claims; the quality of effort the Snyder administration put into this issue should be recognized and applauded.

leonard page
Mon, 08/19/2019 - 8:09am

you must have really liked how he amended section J of the original 1953 Easement. that language required enbridge to indemnify and hold harmless all those suffering from an oil spill. that language is no longer there - now there is self insurance which may not survive bankruptcy.

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 11:37pm

Under the cover of darkness, burning the midnight oil during lame duck sessions. That's when they did all their most dirty shameful work. Yet these Republican hypocrites, like Moscow Mitch, denied Obama an up or down vote on his supreme court nominee almost a year before his term ended. You know what the Bible says about hypocrites, it ain't good for the fake Christians, fake patriots, lovers of Benedict Donald.

Subee
Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:33am

The Heritage Foundation does not represent the best of conservative thinking - quite the opposite. It is a toady group to service the uber rich. George Will or Jonah Goldberg would spit on it. Building this tunnel does not serve American interests as Enbridge is a Canadian corporation. A pipeline is a 20th century concept and it's time to move on from fuel sources fraught with astronomical clean up costs and political curtsies to to the folks who bring us terrorism.

Matt
Sun, 08/18/2019 - 6:29pm

Subee , Actually the chaps you mentioned wouldn't be too thrilled over the concept of the state seizing a privately owned asset because some cooked up over fraught made up scare mongering. Since wind and solar are several thousand year old historical anachronisms are you suggesting we replace the pipeline with a nuclear reactor? But of course businesses won't want to make the investment since the seizure precedent has been set.

leonard page
Mon, 08/19/2019 - 8:04am

nothing being owned by enbridge is being seized. the state wants its lakebed back wihout an easement permitting the pipeline. enbridge can run the 66 years old pipeline where it gets permission to do so - just not in the great lakes

Ethel Larsen
Sun, 08/18/2019 - 4:32pm

"There is no threat. The pipeline isn't leaking." Wow. The DNR recognizes high fire danger BEFORE the woods burst into flame. The time to acknowledge the environmental danger of old and compromized pipes is BEFORE they leak.

Vince Caruso
Sun, 08/18/2019 - 9:57pm

Line 5 must go now! No company is worth 20% of the worlds freshwater. Not even close. Get a clue than write an article that makes some sense already.
Buy the way, you, me, your kids and everyone is 60% water. But not water polluted with toxic ultra dirty tar sands oil. Can't live without clean fresh water but you can without oil.

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 11:43pm

Kudos to you for your efforts, but sadly, our bodies are full of water tainted with PFAS, another problem caused by unregulated greedy corporate polluters. The only way to stop them is to LOCK THEM UP, criminal laws.

David Cusack
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 1:24pm

Shut Down Line 5 NOW!

Hahaha
Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:47pm

Tell that to the Kalamazoo river.