Conservationists across Michigan are pushing legislators to shut down the 63-year old Enbridge pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac. Tomorrow (2/23) representatives from the campaign called Oil and Water Don’t Mix.org say they will deliver thousands of letters to the governor and attorney general urging them to shut down Line 5. Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy says the line is closely monitored. “They can respond almost immediately there. We also do more inspections of that pipeline than are even required by the government. And we do those inspections on the outside of the pipeline with underwater divers. We also have machines that can go on the inside of the pipeline, they use MRI type technology. It was considered an engineering marvel. It is the thickest pipe that we have in our system. It was built by the same engineering company that built the Mackinac Bridge and built kind of for that underwater environment in particular where it’s not gonna undergo as much damage as if it were on land” according to Duffy. The pipeline carries oil and liquefied natural gas from Wisconsin across the U.P. to Sarnia, Ontario. Duffy says shutting down Line 5 would mean losing as much as 540-thousand barrels of crude oil, gas and propane per day. He says most of the propane used for heat in the U.P. and Northern Michigan comes from Line 5. The state Department of Environmental Quality is in the process of soliciting requests for proposals from independent firms to take a look at alternatives and assess the health of the pipeline. Enbridge is also participating in the state oil task force assessments of Line 5.
The photo above is the Enbridge Woodland pipeline