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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.