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Sen. Gary Peters: We Need to Work Toward Shutting Down Straits of Mackinac Oil Pipeline

Laura Weber Davis, WDET

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D) says the oil company behind the Line 5 pipeline under water in the Straits of Mackinac hasn’t been forthcoming about the viability or use of the aging pipeline. He says Enbridge hasn’t supplied “consistent and good” numbers on the use of Line 5. But he says what’s clear is the pipeline’s location puts the entire Great Lakes system at risk.

I hope we get to that point where we can shut it down,” says Peters, siting a University of Michigan study showing the worst place for an oil spill in the Great Lakes would be at the Straits of Mackinac. Peters says the pipeline is currently designated an “in-shore pipeline” and that it should be classified as an “off-shore pipeline.” 

Peters says Enbridge can and should divert the flow of the oil currently running through the Straits of Mackinac to other pipelines, and that those lines would be able to accommodate additional usage.

We already have a very elaborate web of pipelines in this country,” says Peters, who adds Canadians benefit most from Enbridge’s Line 5. ”Most of the oil that goes through the pipe doesn’t go to Michigan.”

Enbridge has said in the past that it is diligent in checking and maintaining Line 5, and there is no danger of a leak. Enbridge was at the center of the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River in 2010. 

Peters says Line 5 should be shut down because it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s never a problem, until it’s a problem.”

To hear more of Peters’ conversation with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson, click on the audio player above.

Image credit: Laura Weber Davis, WDET

Filed Under: #mpc16
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