The federal lawsuit Enbridge filed Tuesday is an attack on the State of Michigan’s sovereign title and authority to protect the public trust in the Straits and Great Lakes from Line 5. The federal government can regulate safety, but it can never control the location and use of the State of Michigan’s own public trust waters and bottomlands of the Great Lakes, except as it relates to navigation.
Above photo courtesy of Biden-Harris transition By Skip Pruss History will mark 2021 as the year the United States finally got serious about combating climate change and protecting water security. The Biden administration appears to fully comprehend the depth and gravity of current climate trends and is prepared to take action commensurate with the challenges… Read more »
By Janet Meissner Pritchard COVID-19 has already taken the lives of more than 8,100 Michiganders, and the pandemic is surging in Michigan, with more than 7,000 new cases per day diagnosed in Michigan over recent days. Given this grim context, it is essential for public health to secure access to safe, affordable drinking water for… Read more »
The State of Michigan’s decision to revoke and terminate the 67-year-old easement across the Straits of Mackinac granted to Enbridge for the Line 5 petroleum product pipelines was more than that day’s news—it was an event that will be remembered in the state’s environmental history. The Line 5 shutdown announcement brought to mind the epic fight over protection of the Pigeon River Country State Forest in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Their legal duty under public trust law, and the clear and present danger from the anchor strikes and currents of the 67-year-old dual oil pipelines, left only one choice for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and DNR Director Daniel Eichinger: Revoke and terminate the easement allowing Line 5 to occupy the Straits of Mackinac, as they did on November 13 in a strong and necessary action.
Exploiting worker and community fears with bogus claims is the latest in a series of unconscionable tactics deployed by Enbridge to pressure Michigan officials into letting the company occupy the Straits with its current antiquated Line 5 pipeline and later, a tunnel under the lakebed.
Today’s announcement by Governor Whitmer and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Eichinger that the State of Michigan, under the public trust doctrine, is revoking and terminating the 1953 easement allowing Enbridge to operate dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac—due to repeated violations of the easement—represents a clear victory for the Great Lakes and the citizens and tribes of Michigan, said FLOW executive director Liz Kirkwood today.
FLOW is taking advantage of 2o20 Shop Your Community Days in Traverse City, November 12-14, to celebrate our Business Partners who are supporting FLOW and our effort to protect the Great Lakes. Please support these businesses during Shop Your Community Days and the upcoming holiday shopping season. FLOW Development Specialist Calli Crow recently chatted with Matt Myers, co-founder of the apparel brand M22, about their support for FLOW and protecting fresh water.
Source of tunnel graphic: Enbridge’s 2020 application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FLOW on Nov. 6, 2020, filed an appeal with the Michigan Public Service Commission of the October 23 decision by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Dennis W. Mack granting in part Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership’s motion to exclude critical evidence from… Read more »
The result of the Presidential election, which has not yet been decided, will have enormous implications for U.S. environmental policy. Democrat Joe Biden, who won Michigan and currently leads the Electoral College count, has pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement “on day one of his presidency.”