Mackinac Island – Following release of a startling new report from the Groundwork Center highlighting the severe risks to Michigan’s environment and economy, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar called on Governor Snyder to immediately revoke the Straits of Mackinac Pipe Line Easement of 1953. According to the report, more than 60-year-old exposed pipes have been funneling 23 million gallons of crude oil daily through Mackinac Bay, carrying significant risk but little benefit for Michigan.
Thanedar said, “Everyone is in agreement that a Line 5 disaster is a matter of when, not if. The consequence of inaction will be enormous. We saw what inaction led to in Flint. The Snyder Administration must not fail us again. As Governor, he has a moral obligation to take action now to shut down Line 5.”
Mackinac is the site of this week’s 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference. Line 5, which lies below the Straits of Mackinac, has been called the “worst possible place” for an oil spill in the Great Lakes by University of Michigan researchers, with oil spreading across Lakes Michigan and Huron, destroying pristine and vulnerable ecosystems. Yesterday’s release from the Groundwork Center affirmed fears that not only does Michigan and the Great Lakes absorb all of the environmental and economic risks of Line 5, but receives virtually none of the financial benefit.
Line 5 creates a shortcut for Canadian company Enbridge to get their product to refineries; Enbridge is the company responsible for the 2010 Kalamazoo oil spill, which was the largest inland oil spill in our country’s history. Line 5 has spilled at least 1.1 million gallons of oil into the Bay in at least 29 separate spills according to federal records unearthed by the National Wildlife Federation last year.