Enbridge Attempts to Resuscitate a Terminally Flawed ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Deal

FLOW Statement on Enbridge's June 6 Lawsuit against the State of Michigan

By Jim Olson, FLOW President and Founder

The lawsuit filed by Enbridge in the Michigan Court of Claims on Thursday, June 6, is an attempt to resuscitate a Line 5 oil tunnel law and related agreements that are so riddled with entanglements by the former Governor Snyder Administration with Enbridge, a private corporation, that it cannot be upheld. Here’s why:

  1. The 2018 lame-duck oil tunnel law was a deceit on the public in violation of the state constitution.

The 2018 lame-duck oil tunnel law was a deceit on the public in violation of the state constitution because the title of the law represented the project would be entirely owned and controlled by the public. But when you read the law, it is a state deal or “partnership” with a private corporation primarily for the benefit of Enbridge.

  1. The tunnel and related agreements call for private occupancy and takeover of the public trust bottomlands.

The tunnel and related agreements call for private occupancy and takeover of the public trust bottomlands in the Straits of Mackinac by private easement and 99-year lease controlled by Enbridge.  

  1. The agreements and tunnel deal sought to suspend and waive the laws and constitution of Michigan.

The agreements and tunnel deal sought to suspend and waive the laws and constitution of Michigan that protect citizens, communities,  and our Great Lakes; a governor and private corporation can never enter into agreements that escape the rule of law.

  1. There are alternatives to the existing Line 5 that do not require a tunnel.

Despite the posturing and rhetoric of Enbridge’s media scheme, there are alternatives to the existing Line 5 that do not require a tunnel; these include delivering propane for those pockets of customers in the Upper Peninsula, the use of excess capacity in other Enbridge pipelines that run across southern Michigan and northern Indiana to Canada and Detroit, and lack of necessity for a 99-year tunnel and pipeline in light of plummeting demand for crude oil as the world economy rapidly shifts to renewable energy.

  1. This lawsuit is a diversion.

This lawsuit is a diversion from the reality that the 540,000 barrels of oil are pulsating through a 66-year old pipeline, which is peppered with design flaws, gouges, dents, and cracks, and unavoidably threatened with another anchor strike at any time.

Jim Olson, President and Founder

 


9 comments on “Enbridge Attempts to Resuscitate a Terminally Flawed ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Deal

  1. Dick Swartley on

    Enbridge Line 5 is an outlaw operation. The Enbridge tunnel campaign is an outlaw raid. Both are illegitimate in the fundamental meaning of the word. Outside the law, in defiance of the law. Refer to the 13 May 2019 FLOW Legal Memorandum to officials of the State of Michigan on the illegality of Line 5 and the tunnel proposal.

    http://flowforwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FLOW-Legal-Memo-re-GLSLA-PTD-to-EGLE-DNR-2019.05.13.pdf

    Thanks to Jim Olson, Liz Kirkwood, and FLOW for their outstanding analysis and advocacy.

    Reply
    • Kathryn Glaeser on

      Please we all need to keep fighting this, Michigans Risk is not worth a Canadian Oil Company’s Reward!

      Reply
  2. JoAnne Beemon on

    Thank you Jim. I was feeling exhausted and confused. YEARS of demonstrations, petitions, telephone campaigns. I feel like a yo-yo!

    Reply
  3. JoAnne Beemon on

    Grateful for clarification! I was feeling exhausted and confused. YEARS of demonstrations, petitions, telephone campaigns. I feel like a yo-yo!

    Reply
  4. Joyce Petrakovitz on

    Thank you for giving us this important information of the illegal implications of the Deal made between the former Governor and Enbridge on the tunnel proposal.
    I appreciate all your efforts to protect Michigan’s environment and waters.
    Joyce Petrakovitz

    Reply
  5. Jim LeBlanc on

    Enbridge muscle was to pour billions into GOP agenda and campaign finance pacs… the propane claimed in this article does NOT cross the Straits, but is processed in the UP by Rapid River.. Garden area. the law suit and basically every tactic we have seen in the last 5 years has been a delay tactic… committees appointed, tests, surveys, all to delay delay delay where by millions of gallons of oil continue to be pumped through an aged pipeline every season and storm where by any clean up would be deterred…. Enbridge should take its money and invest it in a new pipeline around the great lakes… or develop partner ships with the states and tribal lands it wants to run pipelines through, every promise they have made regarding safety has been broken. why would we want to engage in any agreement of business deal with such a corporation ?

    Reply

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FLOW Statement on Enbridge's June 6 Lawsuit against the State of Michigan