Politics

As Gas Shortage Hits America, Gov. Whitmer Wants to Shut Down Pipeline Transporting 540,000 Barrels of Petroleum

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As Americans in states along the eastern seaboard waited in long lines to fill up their gas tanks last week, the Democrat from Michigan saw fit to renew her calls to shut down the Enbridge pipeline that pumps 540,000 barrels of oil and other petroleum products through a section of the Great Lakes.

In an Op-Ed published Friday by The Washington Post, the governor wrote, “Oil and water don’t mix — especially when the latter involves the Great Lakes, the repository of more than 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. And yet for nearly 70 years, an oil company has pumped crude oil through the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron connect and where Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas come closest.

“The two aging, 4.5-mile sections of underwater pipeline are a ticking time bomb. I’m taking every action I can to shut them down, to protect two Great Lakes and the jobs that depend on them.”

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Whitmer then reminded readers of the disastrous BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010, which was followed three months later by the rupture of “an Enbridge pipeline in Michigan, Line 6B.” That incident sent “hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil gushing into a creek feeding the Kalamazoo River, near Marshall, Mich,” she wrote. “It was one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history.”

The governor said she filed a lawsuit against Enbridge in November and the company was advised that “the state of Michigan was revoking and terminating the 1953 easement for Enbridge’s dual pipelines in the Straits. The notice gave Enbridge 180 days — until this past Wednesday — to cease pumping oil through the Great Lakes.”

She said Enbridge has been notified and has defied the order and continues to operate. Whitmer said she “would make every effort to disgorge the company of all profits unjustly earned from Line 5 while trespassing on state land. … Enbridge says it will continue pumping until a court orders it to stop.”

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