In recognition of the critical importance of the Great Lakes and the rule of law, citizens and communities battling the existential threat of climate change won an important victory when the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced June 23 they will conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) for Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 oil tunnel.
Photo courtesy of Chikaming Township, Michigan. Editor’s note: This article was originally published on June 19, 2021, in the Northern Express. LEARN MORE ON JUNE 29 FLOW will host a free webinar — Managing High Water and High Tension along the Great Lakes Shoreline — at 1 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, June 29. Want to hear… Read more »
The water barons are finally moving in to gain control over water rights in public water that is supposed to be held and managed by each state as sovereign for the benefit of its citizens. These water transactions, which seek to profit by speculating on an underlying assumption that water is a commodity or can be allocated for sale, signal a significant shift in investors’ attitudes about public water, and, fundamentally pose the question: Just who will own and control the public’s water in the 21st century?
Enbridge has unleashed a barrage of stories that claim Michigan and the U.S. need Canadian oil from Line 5, that thousands of jobs in Sarnia are in jeopardy, and that Sarnia and Ontario oil refineries already plan to implement an alternative by transporting crude oil by rail or ship it up the St Lawrence and on to Sarnia—a scare tactic on Ontario citizens. This is nothing but an attempt by Enbridge and the oil producers and refiners to pressure the Canadian government and Ontario citizens to oppose the shutdown of Line 5. These tactics require a reality check for both governments and all of the citizens in both countries, especially the 40 million of us who depend on the Great Lakes for our drinking water, jobs, navigation, fishing, and quality of life.
FLOW President Jim Olson made the following statement to the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority during a February 3, 2021, public meeting regarding the Line 5 Easement, Assignment, Tunnel Agreement, and 99-year lease.
By Jim Olson Enbridge has launched yet another attack on the rule of law in Michigan, a habit that underscores its arrogance and looks more like the disregard for rule of law exhibited by the mob that attacked the constitution, the Capitol, and rule of law of the Nation on January 6. It’s not surprising… Read more »
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.
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.
There was good news and bad news in a state administrative law judge’s October 23 ruling that addressed legal arguments over what the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) can and cannot evaluate when deciding whether to permit the siting of Enbridge’s proposed oil pipeline tunnel project under the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron.
By Jim Olson In the coming weeks, Liesl Clark, the director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)—and ultimately, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer—will make the final decision required by state law on a Nestlé water bottling permit to remove another 210 million gallons of groundwater a year virtually for free from… Read more »