Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline: News


Line 5 Blogs Posts and News

  • FLOW applauds decision sending Nessel v. Enbridge Line 5 case back to state court

    FLOW applauds decision sending Nessel v. Enbridge Line 5 case back to state court

    FLOW (For Love of Water) applauds the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision yesterday sending Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s legal action against Enbridge’s Line 5 back to state court where it started. In 2019, AG Nessel sought a court order to shut down Enbridge’s failing Line 5 crude …
  • Troubled Water Film Screening in Frankfort!

    Troubled Water Film Screening in Frankfort!

    Join For Love of Water, the Groundwork Center, and Oil & Water Don’t Mix at the Garden Theater in Frankfort for the highly anticipated Great Lakes adventure-conservation documentary Troubled Water on Friday, July 19, at 7:30 p.m. The film screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with actor and …
  • An abridged and ongoing list: Things Enbridge Takes Credit For

    An abridged and ongoing list: Things Enbridge Takes Credit For

    Do you enjoy celebrating the holidays with your friends and family? How about checking items off your bucket list, or watching the Super Bowl? Are cookies, chips, and pizza some of your guilty pleasures? Believe it or not, you can thank your friendly neighborhood pipeline company for all of these …
  • Denial, Disinformation, and Doublespeak: Exposing Enbridge’s Playbook on Line 5

    Denial, Disinformation, and Doublespeak: Exposing Enbridge’s Playbook on Line 5

    To fully understand the fossil fuel industry’s playbook, let’s start with some basic definitions. You might call them the 3 Ds: Denial, Disinformation, and Doublespeak. Denial is the refusal to believe or accept something as the truth. Disinformation is false information that is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by …
  • What Enbridge Really Knows About the Risk of a Line 5 Rupture in the Straits of Mackinac

    What Enbridge Really Knows About the Risk of a Line 5 Rupture in the Straits of Mackinac

    “Safety. It’s a core value that makes us Enbridge. It’s our way of life.” Enbridge, Our Commitment   Universally considered among the most vulnerable, at-risk pipelines in the world, the 4-mile segment of Line 5 crossing the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet, is quite literally, …
  • FLOW Appeals MPSC Decision Approving the Line 5 Tunnel

    FLOW Appeals MPSC Decision Approving the Line 5 Tunnel

    Download FLOW Appellate Brief  (PDF) Traverse City, Mich.— On April 11, 2024, FLOW filed a brief before the Michigan Court of Appeals aimed at reversing the Michigan Public Services Commission’s (MPSC) approval of the proposed Line 5 tunnel project. Enbridge’s proposed tunnel received a green light from the MPSC on …
  • Nessel v. Enbridge: Oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

    Nessel v. Enbridge: Oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

    Download as PDF Listen to audio recording of the oral arguments Traverse City, Mich.— Today, March 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard oral arguments in Michigan Attorney General Nessel v. Enbridge, the 2019 lawsuit seeking to shut down Line 5 in the open waters of …
  • Federal Court Hears Arguments from Bad River Band and Enbridge in Appeal of Line 5 Pipeline Shutdown Order

    Federal Court Hears Arguments from Bad River Band and Enbridge in Appeal of Line 5 Pipeline Shutdown Order

    Traverse City, Mich.— On February 7, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago heard oral arguments in the Line 5 case involving northern Wisconsin’s Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Enbridge, Inc., a Canadian multinational pipeline and energy company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, …
  • FLOW Appeals MPSC Permit to Site Replacement Line 5 Pipeline in Proposed Great Lakes Tunnel

    FLOW Appeals MPSC Permit to Site Replacement Line 5 Pipeline in Proposed Great Lakes Tunnel

    Media Release: January 3, 2024 Download printer-friendly PDF Traverse City, Mich.— For Love of Water (FLOW), a Great Lakes water law and policy center, filed an appeal on December 22, 2023 with the Michigan Court of Appeals to overturn the Michigan Public Service Commission’s December 1 decision to approve the …
  • Disgraceful: MPSC Approves Permit for Enbridge Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac; Breaches Legal Duty to Protect Michigan’s Natural Resources

    Disgraceful: MPSC Approves Permit for Enbridge Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac; Breaches Legal Duty to Protect Michigan’s Natural Resources

    Traverse City, Mich. — FLOW is shocked that the collective efforts of thousands of Michiganders and treaty-protected tribes to protect our waters from the catastrophic risks of Line 5 have been ignored in today’s decision by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to grant authorization for a Line 5 tunnel. …
  • What happens when Line 5 is shut down? A report on energy market impacts

    What happens when Line 5 is shut down? A report on energy market impacts

    Download as PDF PLG Consulting’s 111-page October 2023 report, Likely Market Responses to a Potential Shutdown of LINE 5, provides an overview of potential impacts and market responses in the event of a planned and orderly shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. Line 5 is part of Enbridge’s Lakehead System, …
  • FLOW files amicus brief; urges Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to remand Line 5 lawsuit back to state court

    FLOW files amicus brief; urges Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to remand Line 5 lawsuit back to state court

    On September 25, 2023, FLOW (For Love of Water) filed a motion with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the 2019 state lawsuit Attorney General Dana Nessel v. Enbridge, requesting the federal appeals court to accept an amicus brief, laying out arguments why the case should be remanded back …
  • FLOW’s Technical Questions for the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority

    FLOW’s Technical Questions for the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority

    The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA) is a three-member panel that is responsible for overseeing Enbridge’s proposed pipeline tunnel project under the busy, environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, pending all applicable permits and approvals. In June 2023, FLOW submitted public comments to the MSCA, to help further public understanding of …
  • Get the Facts on Line 5 with FLOW’s New, Updated Fact Sheet

    Get the Facts on Line 5 with FLOW’s New, Updated Fact Sheet

    Every day, Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline carries nearly 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the oil sand fields in western Canada to refineries in Ontario, using the Straits of Mackinac as a high-risk shortcut. In FLOW’s new, updated Line 5 Fact Sheet, you’ll learn the …
  • U.S. Army Corps to Limit Line 5 Tunnel Review

    U.S. Army Corps to Limit Line 5 Tunnel Review

    “The US Army Corps of Engineers decision to exclude the cumulative impacts of the fossil fuels Line 5 will transport, climate concerns, and, remarkably, engineering concerns raised by experts as to the integrity of the tunnel, flies in the face of the Corps’ purpose and mission, the Biden Administration’s goals …
  • On this day in 2010: Enbridge Oil Spill in Kalamazoo River

    On this day in 2010: Enbridge Oil Spill in Kalamazoo River

    This week marks the unlucky 13th anniversary of one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history. On July 25, 2010, a pipeline operated by Enbridge – the same corporation operating the risky Line 5 in the Strait of Mackinac – burst and released dirty tar sands oil into …
  • “The Strait Story” Line 5 Webinar

    “The Strait Story” Line 5 Webinar

    Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzO-NA-qjfw Download the Line 5 Fact Sheet (PDF)   Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline is over 70 years old and remains a threat to the waters and people of the Great Lakes region. On Wednesday, July 19 2023, FLOW and Oil & Water Don’t Mix presented a special live …
  • FLOW Welcomes Court Order in Michigan Attorney General’s Case to Shut Down Line 5

    FLOW Welcomes Court Order in Michigan Attorney General’s Case to Shut Down Line 5

    Editor’s note: The following is a press statement from Zach Welcker, Legal Director of FLOW (For Love of Water), the Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City, Michigan, in response to a federal district court’s certification on Tuesday of questions for interlocutory review by the U.S. Court of …
  • 2022 Year in Review: FLOW Makes Advances along the Waterfront

    2022 Year in Review: FLOW Makes Advances along the Waterfront

    Above: A burst of sunshine and Lake Michigan’s power at the shore in Frankfort, Michigan. (Photo/Kelly Thayer) Michigan’s water bounty is vast—touching four of the five Great Lakes, more than 10,000 inland lakes, 36,000 river miles, 6 million acres of wetlands, and groundwater that is the drinking water source for …
  • FLOW to Army Corps: Threat to Great Lakes and Lack of Public Need Should Sink Proposed Oil Tunnel

    FLOW to Army Corps: Threat to Great Lakes and Lack of Public Need Should Sink Proposed Oil Tunnel

    Editor’s note: Learn more about FLOW’s efforts to shut down Line 5 and stop the proposed oil pipeline tunnel on FLOW’s Line 5 program page and new Line 5 fact sheet. By Zach Welcker, FLOW Legal Director For Love of Water (“FLOW”) submitted legal and technical comments before today’s deadline …
  • Last Call: Army Corps on Oct. 6 to Hold Final ‘Scoping Meeting’ on Proposed Oil Tunnel in Great Lakes

    Last Call: Army Corps on Oct. 6 to Hold Final ‘Scoping Meeting’ on Proposed Oil Tunnel in Great Lakes

    Editor’s note: Learn more about FLOW’s efforts to shut down Line 5 and stop the proposed oil pipeline tunnel on FLOW’s Line 5 program page and new Line 5 fact sheet. The public will have a last chance on October 6 to comment orally to the leadership and staff of …
  • Hundreds Attend Army Corps Hearing, Strong Majority Speaks Out against Proposed Oil Pipeline Tunnel under the Great Lakes

    Hundreds Attend Army Corps Hearing, Strong Majority Speaks Out against Proposed Oil Pipeline Tunnel under the Great Lakes

    Above: Hundreds of people attend a public comment session held by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the oil pipeline tunnel proposed by Enbridge under the Straits of Mackinac, on Sept. 8, 2022, at Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace, Michigan. Photos by Kelly Thayer. By Kelly Thayer, …
  • FLOW to U.S. Army Corps: Oil Tunnel in the Great Lakes Is Not a Solution

    FLOW to U.S. Army Corps: Oil Tunnel in the Great Lakes Is Not a Solution

    Editor’s note: The following are comments made by FLOW Deputy Director Kelly Thayer on September 8, 2022, in St. Ignace, Michigan, at a public meeting of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps). The Army Corps, Detroit District, held the session to help set the scope of its environmental …
  • FLOW: Today’s Line 5 Court Decision is Bad for the State of Michigan, Bad for State Courts, and Bad for Plaintiffs

    FLOW: Today’s Line 5 Court Decision is Bad for the State of Michigan, Bad for State Courts, and Bad for Plaintiffs

    Editor’s note: The following is a press statement from Zach Welcker, Legal Director of FLOW (For Love of Water), the Great Lakes law and policy center based, in response to U.S. District Judge Janet Neff’s 13-page decision today to deny the motion to remand the case to state court in Nessel …
  • ‘A Step toward Victory for the Public and the Great Lakes’

    ‘A Step toward Victory for the Public and the Great Lakes’

    Editor’s Note: The following is a statement from Jim Olson, Senior Legal Advisor at FLOW (For Love of Water), the Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City. The statement is in response to the decision today by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) at its regular meeting …
  • FLOW to Michigan Public Service Commission: No Enbridge Oil Tunnel Without Authorization Under Public Trust Doctrine

    FLOW to Michigan Public Service Commission: No Enbridge Oil Tunnel Without Authorization Under Public Trust Doctrine

    Editor’s Note: FLOW submitted the following comments today to the Michigan Public Service Commission in advance of the MPSC’s March 17, 2022, public meeting regarding Enbridge’s oil tunnel proposed through public bottomlands in the Straits of Mackinac. See the MPSC’s March 17 meeting agenda, and learn about the opportunity to …
  • FLOW: State of Michigan Takes a Strategic Step Today in the Race to Prevent a ‘Line 5’ Oil Spill

    FLOW: State of Michigan Takes a Strategic Step Today in the Race to Prevent a ‘Line 5’ Oil Spill

    Editor’s Note: The following is a media release issued by FLOW on November 30, 2021; please contact Executive Director Liz Kirkwood at (570) 872-4956 or Liz@FLOWforWater.org or Legal Director Zach Welcker at (231) 620-7911 or Zach@FLOWforWater.org. “The State of Michigan took a strategic step today in the race to prevent a catastrophic Line …
  • FLOW Deeply Disappointed in Court Decision Today Leaving State of Michigan’s  Lawsuit to Shut Down ‘Line 5’ in Federal Court, Denying the State’s Request

    FLOW Deeply Disappointed in Court Decision Today Leaving State of Michigan’s Lawsuit to Shut Down ‘Line 5’ in Federal Court, Denying the State’s Request

    Editor’s Note: The following is a media release issued by FLOW on November 16, 2021; please contact Executive Director Liz Kirkwood at (570) 872-4956 or Liz@FLOWforWater.org or Senior Legal Advisor Jim Olson at (231) 499-8831 or Jim@FLOWforWater.org. Judge Neff’s decision today addresses only the narrow, procedural issue of whether a …
  • Remember When Line 5 Shut Down a Year Ago, and None of Enbridge’s Doomsaying Came True?

    Remember When Line 5 Shut Down a Year Ago, and None of Enbridge’s Doomsaying Came True?

    Dire Straits: A damaged portion of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac shown in this June 2020 photo provided to the State of Michigan by Enbridge. By Nora Baty Do you remember the last time Line 5 shut down? This week marks the one-year anniversary of Line 5’s closure …
  • Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist

    Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist

    Line 5-owner Enbridge and its enablers continue to engage in a Chicken Little “sky is falling” campaign, with the Canadian company claiming that, “shutting down Line 5 would cause shortages of crude oil for refineries in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and eastern Canada, as well as propane shortages in northern Michigan. …
  • Reckless and Defiant, Enbridge Won’t Defuse Its ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ in the Great Lakes at Today’s Deadline to Shut Down Line 5

    Reckless and Defiant, Enbridge Won’t Defuse Its ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ in the Great Lakes at Today’s Deadline to Shut Down Line 5

    Despite the well-documented and lasting economic and ecological harm of oil pipeline disasters across the globe, we are witnessing intense, orchestrated opposition from Canada’s Enbridge and its allies to shutting down a clear-and-present danger to Michigan’s waters and way of life. A Line 5 oil spill would be an unprecedented …
  • FLOW Praises Decision Today by Michigan Public Service Commission to Consider Climate Impacts in Permit Case for Proposed Oil Tunnel in Great Lakes

    FLOW Praises Decision Today by Michigan Public Service Commission to Consider Climate Impacts in Permit Case for Proposed Oil Tunnel in Great Lakes

    The following is in reaction to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s ruling today regarding the scope of review for permitting required for Enbridge to replace and relocate its decaying Line 5 oil pipelines crossing the Straits of Mackinac with a proposed 18- to 21-foot diameter tunnel housing a single new …
  • Reality Check: Line 5 Threatens More Jobs Than It Sustains

    Reality Check: Line 5 Threatens More Jobs Than It Sustains

    By Maude Barlow and Jim Olson Editor’s note: This opinion piece appeared originally in Canada’s National Observer. The United States and Canada are not only close friends and neighbours, but are also committed to resolving their differences with civility and common purpose. The 112-year-old International Joint Commission (IJC), which prevents …
  • “MI Propane Security Plan” Is the Right Plan at the Right Time for Michigan’s Energy Independence and Prosperity

    “MI Propane Security Plan” Is the Right Plan at the Right Time for Michigan’s Energy Independence and Prosperity

    The following statement can be attributed to Liz Kirkwood, environmental attorney and executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water), the Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City, in reaction to the Whitmer administration’s release today of a five-point propane security plan to aid Michigan residents after …
  • FLOW’s 2020 Annual Report

    FLOW’s 2020 Annual Report

    By Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director, and Mike Vickery, Board Chair Being in, on, or near water brings us into balance, restores clarity, and grounds us in understanding what matters most. Water is life. These elemental connections to water and nature were profoundly important to all of us in the tumultuous …
  • FLOW Deeply Disappointed in the State of Michigan’s Environmental Permit Approval for Proposed ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac

    FLOW Deeply Disappointed in the State of Michigan’s Environmental Permit Approval for Proposed ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac

    Liz Kirkwood, environmental attorney and executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water), reacts to news today that the State of Michigan has granted environmental permit approval for Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 oil tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac: “We are deeply disappointed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great …
  • Enbridge Defies Ancient Public Trust Rule of Law, Undermines Great Lakes and Citizens’ Protected Rights

    Enbridge Defies Ancient Public Trust Rule of Law, Undermines Great Lakes and Citizens’ Protected Rights

    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 …
  • O&WDM: Groups, Tribes Ask U.S. Army Corps to Reject Proposed Enbridge Oil Tunnel

    O&WDM: Groups, Tribes Ask U.S. Army Corps to Reject Proposed Enbridge Oil Tunnel

    Editor’s note: This is an Oil & Water Don’t Mix (O&WDM) media release. Twelve organizations and Michigan tribal representatives today (Dec. 7, 2020) called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject the Enbridge Line 5 Straits of Mackinac oil tunnel project. If not dismissed now, the Army Corps …
  • The Line 5 Shutdown Order: A Major Milestone in Michigan’s Environmental History

    The Line 5 Shutdown Order: A Major Milestone in Michigan’s Environmental History

    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 …
  • Oil and Water, and the Public Trust, Don’t Mix in the Great Lakes

    Oil and Water, and the Public Trust, Don’t Mix in the Great Lakes

    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 …
  • Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist

    Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist

    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.
  • Comment by Oct. 19 on Permits for Risky Line 5 Oil Tunnel

    Comment by Oct. 19 on Permits for Risky Line 5 Oil Tunnel

    On Monday, October 19, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will conclude its public comment period on pending state permits for the expected wetland and wastewater impacts, and alternatives to constructing and operating Enbridge’s proposed, roughly four mile-long oil tunnel under the Great Lakes. The proposed …
  • Turning the Spotlight on Line 5 in the Great Lakes

    Turning the Spotlight on Line 5 in the Great Lakes

    Last week the Michigan Attorney General’s Office chose not to appeal a lower court ruling upholding the constitutionality of a law that facilitates the framework for an oil tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac—forgoing any further challenge, but, in reality, yielding no strategic legal ground.
  • An Enbridge Oil Spill on My Grandparents’ Farm

    An Enbridge Oil Spill on My Grandparents’ Farm

    Photo: The clean up on the Zinn family farm in Marshall, Michigan, after Enbridge’s Line 6B failed a decade ago on July 25, 2010, eventually contaminating nearly 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River and its watershed with a million gallons of tar sands oil, sickening more than 300 people, permanently …
  • FLOW, Environmental, and Tribal Groups Urge U.S. Army Corps to Reject Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel Permit

    FLOW, Environmental, and Tribal Groups Urge U.S. Army Corps to Reject Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel Permit

    Enbridge’s request for federal approval of a Line 5 replacement oil pipeline in a proposed tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac should be rejected to protect the Great Lakes from the continued risk of a catastrophic oil spill and a pipeline that is no longer needed, 10 leading environmental and …
  • Two Virtual Hearings, Two Real Steps Closer to Shutting Down Line 5 in the Great Lakes

    Two Virtual Hearings, Two Real Steps Closer to Shutting Down Line 5 in the Great Lakes

    After two pivotal hearings Tuesday, June 30, Enbridge has lost its grip on the fate of its dangerous twin Line 5 crude oil pipelines in the waters of the Straits of Mackinac. Two hearings, and the State and its citizens are two steps closer to shutting down the unstable twin …
  • MPSC: Proposed ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac Must Undergo Full and Vigorous Public Review

    MPSC: Proposed ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac Must Undergo Full and Vigorous Public Review

    Photo above: MPSC Chairman Sally A. Talberg, presiding over the Commission hearing today on Enbridge’s proposed oil pipeline tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac. The following statement can be attributed to Liz Kirkwood, environmental attorney and executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water), a Great Lakes law and policy …
  • Shutdown of Damaged Line 5 Must Be Permanent

    Shutdown of Damaged Line 5 Must Be Permanent

    Gov. Whitmer, State of Michigan Should Put an End to Enbridge’s Damaged and Decaying Oil Pipeline in the Great Lakes to Protect Drinking Water, Economy, and Way of Life The following statement can be attributed to Liz Kirkwood, environmental attorney and executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water), a …
  • State Points to Fatal Flaw in ‘Line 5’ Tunnel Law

    State Points to Fatal Flaw in ‘Line 5’ Tunnel Law

    What may seem like dry legal arguments over the interpretation of a few words sometimes can have ripple effects on people, health, safety, and the environment. Such is the case with arguments heard June 3 before the Michigan Court of Appeals over the fate of the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline …
  • FLOW & Straits of Mackinac Alliance Urge State of Michigan to Suspend Review of Enbridge’s Application for a ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel

    FLOW & Straits of Mackinac Alliance Urge State of Michigan to Suspend Review of Enbridge’s Application for a ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel

    The State of Michigan was right this week to suspend consideration of Enbridge’s April 7, 2020, application for construction permits to dig an oil tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac and place a pipeline in it until the Canadian energy-transport giant corrects deficiencies, including the failure to consider viable alternatives …
  • Enbridge’s ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Permit Application is Contrary to the Legal Process

    Enbridge’s ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Permit Application is Contrary to the Legal Process

    Enbridge Energy’s permit application is out of step with Michigan’s legal process, according to FLOW. The Canadian energy-transport company has not even sought, let alone obtained, authorization from the State of Michigan for the easement and lease required by law to locate a risky, multibillion-dollar oil pipeline tunnel in the …
  • FLOW to U.P. Energy Task Force: Act Fast to Protect Residents, End Reliance on Risky ‘Line 5’ Oil Pipeline

    FLOW to U.P. Energy Task Force: Act Fast to Protect Residents, End Reliance on Risky ‘Line 5’ Oil Pipeline

    Photo by Kathryn DePauw for FLOW. To alleviate the rising threat to the safety and economic security of Upper Peninsula residents, a state energy task force at its April 13 online public meeting should act with urgency to adopt, prioritize, and schedule the implementation of the 14 recommendations in its …
  • Michigan DNR Takes Steps to Hold Enbridge Accountable

    Michigan DNR Takes Steps to Hold Enbridge Accountable

    Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Daniel Eichinger today set a 30-day deadline for Enbridge to submit key information regarding its ongoing violations of the state-granted easement conditionally allowing the Canadian company’s 66-year-old Line 5 oil pipelines to occupy the Straits of Mackinac.
  • Chronicling FLOW’s Accomplishments in 2019

    Chronicling FLOW’s Accomplishments in 2019

    Powered by our supporters, FLOW had quite a year in 2019. Our legal advocacy work to restore the rule of law made a big impact at the state level. Michigan’s new Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a public trust lawsuit on June 27 to revoke the 1953 easement that conditionally …
  • FLOW Cites New Evidence of Enbridge Operating Illegally, Calls for Orderly Shutdown of ‘Line 5’ Oil Pipelines in Straits of Mackinac

    FLOW Cites New Evidence of Enbridge Operating Illegally, Calls for Orderly Shutdown of ‘Line 5’ Oil Pipelines in Straits of Mackinac

    FLOW today called on the State of Michigan to increase and strictly enforce the requirement for comprehensive oil spill insurance and terminate the 1953 easement that conditionally allows Line 5 to occupy the Straits of Mackinac, triggering the orderly shut down of the dual oil pipelines as soon as practicable …
  • FLOW, City of Mackinac Island Join Legal Fight on Invalidity of Existing Line 5 and Proposed Oil Tunnel under Great Lakes

    FLOW, City of Mackinac Island Join Legal Fight on Invalidity of Existing Line 5 and Proposed Oil Tunnel under Great Lakes

    The Michigan Court of Claims has issued orders accepting FLOW’s and the City of Mackinac Island’s amicus briefs advancing key legal arguments in Enbridge’s Line 5 oil tunnel lawsuit against the State, rejecting opposing arguments by the Canadian oil pipeline company. The ruling in Lansing by Judge Michael Kelly in …
  • Line 5 Poses On-land Explosion Risk for Michigan Residents

    Line 5 Poses On-land Explosion Risk for Michigan Residents

    On August 1, a natural gas pipeline operated by an Enbridge subsidiary exploded in Kentucky. The blast killed one person, injured six others, and blew 30 feet of pipeline out of the ground, resulting in a crater that is 50 feet long, 35 feet wide and 13 feet deep. About …
  • Digging a Hole for Future Generations

    Digging a Hole for Future Generations

    After a brief rally outside with many participants wearing black t-shirts saying, “No Line 5 Oil Tunnel,” dozens of people this morning (August 21) overflowed the meeting room and lobby of the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners in Traverse City. In all, 54 residents spoke out for the next …
  • Line 5’s Failing Design – Anchor Supports, Anchor Strikes, and the Rising Risk of an Oil Spill Disaster in the Great Lakes

    Line 5’s Failing Design – Anchor Supports, Anchor Strikes, and the Rising Risk of an Oil Spill Disaster in the Great Lakes

    The disclosure by Enbridge that 81 feet of Line 5 has been undermined by powerful currents and is slumping points to something far more serious—and dangerous: The 66-year-old dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac are failing and also at risk of rupture from a ship’s anchor drag that hooks and …
  • If Line 5 Ruptures, Shut Mackinac Island Water System, Evacuate Everyone

    If Line 5 Ruptures, Shut Mackinac Island Water System, Evacuate Everyone

    The Mackinac Islanders who attended FLOW's sixth annual Community Update on Line 5 at Community Hall were an economically and politically diverse crowd. What united them was a concern over Line 5, and a desire to learn how FLOW and tribal representatives, lawyers, and risk experts are educating the public …
  • The Public Trust and YOU

    The Public Trust and YOU

    During this high-water month of July, FLOW will publish video postcards each weekday that feature Michiganders (and citizens of the Great Lakes Basin) explaining what the Public Trust Doctrine means to us and how our precious, publicly-owned fresh water shapes our lives and relationship to this place we call home.
  • Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist

    Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist

    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.
  • Actress Amy Smart and writer and producer Geoff Johns urge Michigan Gov. Whitmer to protect our Great Lakes and shut down ‘Line 5’

    Actress Amy Smart and writer and producer Geoff Johns urge Michigan Gov. Whitmer to protect our Great Lakes and shut down ‘Line 5’

      Actress Amy Smart and comic book writer, screenwriter, and film and television producer Geoff Johns urge Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to protect our Great Lakes and shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. Amy: Hi, I’m Amy Smart. …
  • ‘Line 5’ Threat to Great Lakes Won’t Be Solved By Proposed Anchor Rules

    ‘Line 5’ Threat to Great Lakes Won’t Be Solved By Proposed Anchor Rules

    “Let’s be clear: the ‘Line 5’ oil spill threat to Great Lakes won’t be solved by emergency anchor rules that Gov. Whitmer called for today," said Liz Kirkwood, executive director of FLOW. "The real solution to the threat of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac is to shut it down now."
  • A ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Won’t Protect the Great Lakes from Enbridge, Climate Change

    A ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Won’t Protect the Great Lakes from Enbridge, Climate Change

    Above: FLOW’s Liz Kirkwood speaking in opposition to a proposed oil tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac, during a November 8, 2018, hearing in St. Ignace. In the world of public relations, there are facts, exaggerations, and untruths. Right now, Enbridge is bombarding the people of Michigan with hazy PR claims …
  • The Future of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac

    The Future of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac

    Now that Michigan’s governor and attorney general have sunk the oil tunnel scheme hatched by the last administration, I’m asked nearly every day: What can citizens and state leaders do to shut down the propped-up, banged-up Line 5 oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac for good? Here’s my answer, as …
  • FLOW Praises Governor for Action on Line 5

    FLOW Praises Governor for Action on Line 5

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                      March 28, 2019 Liz Kirkwood, FLOW Executive Director                                                   Email: Liz@FLOWforWater.org Office: (231) 944-1568, Cell: (570) 872-4956                                           Web: www.FLOWforWater.org Jim Olson, FLOW Founder and President                                                Email: olson@envlaw.com (231) 499-8831  Dave Dempsey, FLOW Senior Advisor                                                     Email: dave@FLOWforWater.org (612) 703-2720 In the wake of an opinion by Attorney General Dana …
  • FLOW Praises Attorney General for Restoring Rule of Law on Line 5

    FLOW Praises Attorney General for Restoring Rule of Law on Line 5

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                      March 28, 2019 Liz Kirkwood, FLOW Executive Director                                                   Email:Liz@FLOWforWater.org Office: (231) 944-1568, Cell: (570) 872-4956                                           Web: www.FLOWforWater.org Jim Olson, FLOW Founder and President                                                Email:olson@envlaw.com Cell: (231) 499-8831 Dave Dempsey, FLOW Senior Advisor                                                     Email:Dave@FLOWforWater.org (612) 703-2720 FLOW supports attorney general’s process and opinion, which is binding …
  • Line 5 – Public Trust and Risk Management

    Line 5 – Public Trust and Risk Management

    This is the first in a series of essays by FLOW board member Rick Kane on the vital issues of risk management and the responsibilities of public officials under the public trust doctrine. The issue has special meaning in light of the risks posed by the twin Enbridge pipelines that …
  • Are Michigan’s Residents, Communities, and Businesses Insured if Line 5 Fails in the Straits?

    Are Michigan’s Residents, Communities, and Businesses Insured if Line 5 Fails in the Straits?

    If the 66-year-old Enbridge Line 5 pipelines fail in the Straits of Mackinac, who will pay for the oil spill clean-up costs and damages to residents, coastal communities, businesses, and our public waters? Michigan citizens may believe they are protected, at least at some level, by the insurance Enbridge should …
  • Bypassing, and Now Restoring, the Rule of Law on Line 5

    Bypassing, and Now Restoring, the Rule of Law on Line 5

    After last year’s election, newly chosen leaders and the old guard with a few weeks left in Lansing rushed in opposite directions. The Snyder administration and legislators intensified their unprecedented, legally questionable attacks on water, the environment, and public health during a lame-duck feeding frenzy. The new guard, Governor Gretchen …
  • FLOW Supports Gov. Whitmer’s Request for a ‘Line 5’ Opinion from Attorney General

    FLOW Supports Gov. Whitmer’s Request for a ‘Line 5’ Opinion from Attorney General

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                         January 2, 2019 Jim Olson, Founder and President                                                             Email: olson@envlaw.com FLOW (For Love of Water), Traverse …
  • Departing Governor and Lame Duck Legislature Speed toward 99-Year Oil Tunnel Scheme, Leaving Mackinac Straits at Risk from Line 5 Pipelines

    Departing Governor and Lame Duck Legislature Speed toward 99-Year Oil Tunnel Scheme, Leaving Mackinac Straits at Risk from Line 5 Pipelines

    https://forloveofwater-wp-uploads.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Liz-testifying-12.11.18.mp4 FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood testifying Dec. 11, 2018, at the Michigan House of Representatives Government Operations Committee. https://forloveofwater-wp-uploads.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Kelly-testifying-12.11.18.mp4 FLOW Deputy Director Kelly Thayer testifying Dec. 11, 2018, at the Michigan House of Representatives Government Operations Committee. In coordinated fashion, the Michigan’s lame-duck legislature on Tuesday and governor today opened the …
  • Protecting the Great Lakes and the Mackinac Bridge from Enbridge – or Not

    Protecting the Great Lakes and the Mackinac Bridge from Enbridge – or Not

    A view from the Mackinac Bridge of the Straits of Mackinac, just east of where the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipelines (not visible) cross along the bottom. Action Expected Dec. 11 in House, After Michigan Senate Passes Oil Tunnel Bill Still Tied to the Mackinac Bridge The Michigan Senate on …
  • Line 5 – a Long-Term Asset? Not a Chance in this Century

    Line 5 – a Long-Term Asset? Not a Chance in this Century

    Photo credit: Nancy May By Liz Kirkwood and Skip Pruss Substitute Bill SB 1197 continues to be riddled with faulty assumptions and logic that favor and bend towards Enbridge’s private corporate shareholder interests. Most glaring of all is the audacious and misguided underlying assertion that we humans will continue to …
  • Presto! Another Tunnel Bill Appears, as Michigan Lawmakers Rush to Save Enbridge from the Public’s Will

    Presto! Another Tunnel Bill Appears, as Michigan Lawmakers Rush to Save Enbridge from the Public’s Will

    In response to an outpouring of bipartisan public pressure to save the Mackinac Bridge from Enbridge, the shareholder-owned Canadian corporation, Michigan Senate Republicans today released yet another rushed version of their Senate Bill 1197 that makes matters worse for the Mighty Mac, the Great Lakes, and Michigan taxpayers. Specifically, in …
  • Lame Ducks, Lamer Policies

    Lame Ducks, Lamer Policies

    When Michigan voters cast ballots November 6, they did not express support for attacks on the state’s water resources.  But that’s what they may be getting from Lansing between now and the end of 2018. In politics, lame ducks are officeholders whose successors have been elected but whose terms haven’t …
  • Take Action Today to Oppose Michigan’s Senate Bill 1197 and Save the Mackinac Bridge from Enbridge Line 5

    Take Action Today to Oppose Michigan’s Senate Bill 1197 and Save the Mackinac Bridge from Enbridge Line 5

    FLOW President Jim Olson addresses the board of the Mackinac Bridge Authority at its Nov. 8, 2018, meeting in St. Ignace. FLOW is urging supporters to contact your Michigan lawmakers today using our guidance below and to plan to join FLOW and other leaders of the Oil & Water Don’t Mix …
  • Public to Mighty Mac Board: Don’t Risk the Great Lakes and Mackinac Bridge by Owning Private Oil Tunnel

    Public to Mighty Mac Board: Don’t Risk the Great Lakes and Mackinac Bridge by Owning Private Oil Tunnel

    Protect our greatest treasures — the Great Lakes and the Mackinac Bridge. Stop Gov. Rick Snyder’s rush to lock in a 99-year deal for a private oil tunnel in the Mackinac Straits. Never stop fighting for clean water and democracy. Those were the messages loud and clear from a big …
  • Vote for Water: Michiganders Can Choose Great Lakes Protection and Prosperity

    Vote for Water: Michiganders Can Choose Great Lakes Protection and Prosperity

    By Paul Hendricks, Manager of Environmental Responsibility, Patagonia, Inc. All photos courtesy of Paul Hendricks. Every fall, strong north winds bring in a steady flow of storms that rip across the Great Lakes. You’ve probably witnessed one of these storms, where waves crash over pier heads and howling winds cut through …
  • On its 61st birthday, the Mackinac Bridge faces its biggest threat to date

    On its 61st birthday, the Mackinac Bridge faces its biggest threat to date

    FLOW’s Legal Analysis: Snyder-Enbridge Oil Tunnel Deal Risks the Mackinac Bridge’s Fiscal Integrity, Violates Environmental Laws On its 61st birthday, the Mackinac Bridge faces its biggest threat to date FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      …
  • Spending a Night Under the Stars along the Straits of Mackinac

    Spending a Night Under the Stars along the Straits of Mackinac

    This week’s Friday Favorite was written by Julius Moss, one of our summer interns who has since returned to Vermont Law School. To me, the Mackinac Bridge is not just a bridge. It is also a portal. Every time I head north from my home in Traverse City, MI and …
  • Legal Fact from Legal Fictions

    Legal Fact from Legal Fictions

    A Preface When I sat down to finish this post this morning on the news about Michigan’s agreement with Enbridge to consider replacing an aging, dangerous Line 5 crude oil pipeline through the Great Lakes basin, I realized that what I should really be writing about is yesterday’s dire warning …
  • Paddle Protests & Water Celebration: Weekend Wrap-Up

    Paddle Protests & Water Celebration: Weekend Wrap-Up

    Saturday, September 1 was a day of action for citizens of Michigan. The fourth annual Pipe Out Paddle Protest was held in the Straits of Mackinac, followed by the inaugural Water Is Life Festival. Organized by Jannan Cornstalk, both events drew participants from all over the mitten, coming together to …
  • U.S. Senate Hearing Sets the Stage for Turning Off Dangerous Enbridge Line 5 in Great Lakes

    U.S. Senate Hearing Sets the Stage for Turning Off Dangerous Enbridge Line 5 in Great Lakes

    Michigan Senator Gary Peters, ranking member of a Senate committee overseeing hazardous pipelines, held a public hearing in Traverse City, Michigan Monday, ground zero in a race to turn off Enbridge’s 65-year old Line 5 before it spills millions of gallons into the Straits of Mackinac and blackens the water, …
  • State-Commissioned Line 5 Risk Analysis Underlines Urgency of Shutdown, FLOW Says

    State-Commissioned Line 5 Risk Analysis Underlines Urgency of Shutdown, FLOW Says

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      August 21, 2018 Even the significantly understated economic impacts of a spill from Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac in a state-commissioned analysis reveal a fiscal and human price tag too high for the people of Michigan, FLOW (For Love of Water) said in comments submitted …
  • Finally, An Honest Conversation About Line 5’s Real Risks to Our Waters and Our Way of Life

    Finally, An Honest Conversation About Line 5’s Real Risks to Our Waters and Our Way of Life

    Over three years ago, on July 15, 2015, the State of Michigan’s Petroleum Pipeline Task Force released its recommendations for the state to conduct an independent risk analysis and independent alternatives analysis on the Line 5 pipelines located in the open waters of the Great Lakes. The Governor’s Advisory Board, …
  • A Tunnel for Line 5? – That Would be a Big Mistake

    A Tunnel for Line 5? – That Would be a Big Mistake

    In an end-run around the public participation process they established, Governor Rick Snyder and Enbridge, Inc., the owner and operator of Line 5, are exploring the possibility of building a $500 million tunnel to replace the stretch of 65 year-old Line 5 pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac.  …
  • Attorney General Bill Schuette has Ample Legal Authority to Pursue a Shutdown of Line 5

    Attorney General Bill Schuette has Ample Legal Authority to Pursue a Shutdown of Line 5

    By: FLOW Chair, Skip Pruss Taking Legal Action Recently, John Sellek, Attorney General Bill Schuette’s campaign spokesperson, pushed back on the charge that the Attorney General could have taken legal action to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 petroleum pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac, stating “If this claim about the …
  • Latest Enbridge Reports Underscore Line 5’s Vulnerability to 400 Michigan Waterways

    Latest Enbridge Reports Underscore Line 5’s Vulnerability to 400 Michigan Waterways

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           June 29, 2018 Contact:  Liz Kirkwood                                                                      Email: Liz@FLOWforWater.org Executive Director                                                                                           Office: (231) 944-1568 FLOW (For Love of Water)                                                                               Cell: (570) 872-4956 Latest Enbridge Reports Underscore Line 5’s Vulnerability to 400 Michigan Waterways and Ongoing Unacceptable Risk to the Straits …
  • It’s Time for the State of Michigan to Put Protection of our Great Lakes and Citizens First

    It’s Time for the State of Michigan to Put Protection of our Great Lakes and Citizens First

    Almost three years ago, with the release of Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force’s report on July 14, 2015, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that the days of Line 5 were numbered. The public also believed that the State of Michigan planned to seek two independent studies on Line 5 to …
  • Countdown to a Line 5 Shutdown

    Countdown to a Line 5 Shutdown

    Photo credit: Nancy May 7 – It would take at least seven years to plan and build a tunnel under the Mackinac Straits, according to an estimate by Michigan Technological University, if proven to be legal and feasible, while Line 5’s threat to the Great Lakes would grow larger. 6 – A Line 5 …
  • Enough is Enough: It’s Time to Decommission Line 5

    Enough is Enough: It’s Time to Decommission Line 5

    Every year, a million visitors reach the shores of Mackinac Island, also known as Turtle Island to the Anishinaabe peoples who first settled here in the Great Lakes.  Unlike most visitors, every May I make an annual pilgrimage to the island to argue the case to decommission Line 5 to our …
  • The Buck Stops With Them

    The Buck Stops With Them

    Photo: Nancy May – work available at numerous shops on Mackinac Island FLOW reminds state leaders they have the power to defend the Great Lakes from Enbridge. Governor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette have the legal authority to protect the Great Lakes from the major risk posed by the antiquated …
  • Saving the Straits of Mackinac

    Saving the Straits of Mackinac

    Saving the Straits of Mackinac Yesterday, May 22, 2018, marks the day that our state’s citizens, threatened with the terrible harm of an oil spill from a failed Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, took matters into their own hands. The Straits of Mackinac Alliance (SMA) filed a contested-case …
  • FLOW Demands State Reject Latest Enbridge Ploy

    FLOW Demands State Reject Latest Enbridge Ploy

    In comments submitted to state officials Friday, FLOW is urging state regulators to deny a bid by Enbridge Energy to install 48 new anchor supports on dangerous Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac while evading scrutiny of alternatives that would protect the environment. Enbridge’s latest request, if approved, would …
  • Anatomy of A Spill in the Great Lakes

    Anatomy of A Spill in the Great Lakes

    Five years ago this spring, when I first learned about Line 5, I could only imagine what a catastrophic oil spill would look like here in the heart of the Great Lakes.  Two weeks ago, we dodged a bullet as we watched a hazardous liquid spill from two neighboring transmission …
  • Can One Person Make a Difference? This Sixth Grader Already Has

    Can One Person Make a Difference? This Sixth Grader Already Has

    Hope is in the air, and the water. On a recent trip to Chicago to attend the Patagonia Action Works conference, FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood met an extraordinary young advocate, Marcella Carter.  Spurred into action by her concern about the oil and gas pipelines threatening the Straits of Mackinac, …
  • Once More: Line 5 and the Public Trust

    Once More: Line 5 and the Public Trust

    FLOW’s organizing principle is the public trust doctrine.  What sounds like an exotic concept is quite simple.  This centuries-old principle of common law holds that there are some resources, like water and submerged lands, that by their nature cannot be privately owned.  Rather, this commons – including the Great Lakes …
  • Public Trust Tuesday: Shutting Down Line 5

    Public Trust Tuesday: Shutting Down Line 5

    FLOW’s organizing principle is the public trust doctrine.  What sounds like an exotic concept is quite simple.  This centuries-old principle of common law holds that there are some resources, like water and submerged lands, that by their nature cannot be privately owned.  Rather, this commons – including the Great Lakes …