For decades, Enbridge - a Canadian company - has continued to operate the Line 5 oil pipeline in Michigan and Wisconsin despite outcry from Great Lakes communities about the pipeline's environmental, safety, and health issues. I'm writing to ask you to act immediately and use your presidential authority to halt the operation of Line 5 and the construction to reroute the project to a new area it could cause harm.
The pipeline poses a great deal of risk to the surrounding communities. Line 5 has already experienced 33 reported spills totalling 1.1 million gallons of oil along its length since 1968. The company behind Line 5, Enbridge, is also responsible for the disastrous spill in Kalamazoo, MI, now recognized as the worst inland oil spill in the US. The same company is facing criminal charges in Minnesota for the aquifer breaches and drilling fluid releases from the construction of the Line 3 pipeline. In each instance, Enbridge has failed to take accountability for its neglect. Yet, their pipeline continues to run through the Great Lakes.
There is clear opposition to the ongoing operation of Line 5. Just since 2019, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has sued Enbridge to force them off their land and Michigan's Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, ordered Line 5 to be shut down after revoking Enbridge's easement to operate in the Straits of Mackinac. Despite these legal orders, Line 5 continues to operate.
Seemingly acknowledging how dangerous their pipeline is to the Great Lakes, Enbridge has proposed a tunnel to be built around the operating pipeline. And yet, as the environmental analysis for that proposal moves forward, Line 5 continues to push 22.7 million gallons of oil per day through its old and risky pipelines.
Enbridge does not respect Indigenous sovereignty or state leadership. As the leader of this nation, it is your duty to ensure that all communities in the US are safe and protected from this type of risk. Don't let the Great Lakes communities be the "collateral damage" in Big Oil's pursuit of profit or the sacrifice in the national need for reliable fuel and energy. Please use your presidential authority to stop the harm this pipeline has caused and shut down Line 5 for good. Thanks.
▶ First sent on December 4, 2022 by Jess Craven