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Noelle Riley / Interlochen Public Radio

Three Upper Peninsula counties have passed resolutions supporting Enbridge Energy’s proposed tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. The tunnel through bedrock would replace the Line 5 twin oil pipelines that currently sit on the lakebed.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it's preparing to decide whether to let Canadian oil transport company Enbridge install supports for its underwater oil pipeline in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge pipeline rupture causes explosion in Kentucky

Aug 2, 2019
Adobe Stock

An Enbridge natural gas pipeline ruptured and caused a huge explosion in Lincoln County, Kentucky early Thursday morning. The explosion left one person dead and five others hospitalized, and caused the evacuation of residents from a nearby trailer park. The explosion was large enough that it showed up on weather radars.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Activists are using this week’s 9th anniversary of the Kalamazoo River oil spill to dramatize their opposition to a proposed oil pipeline tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

The 2010 oil spill started when a pipeline near Marshall broke and started spewing crude oil.  The oil reached the Kalamazoo River, eventually spreading over about 30 miles of the river.   The cleanup took several years. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she's open to renew talks with Enbridge Energy about the future of its oil pipeline through the Mackinac Straits.

Last week, Enbridge – which is a Michigan Radio sponsor – asked the state Court of Claims to consider the legality of agreements it reached with former Governor Rick Snyder to build an oil pipeline tunnel.

Michigan’s attorney general has until June 27 to respond to Enbridge’s lawsuit.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will meet this week with Enbridge Energy executives. Her goal is come up with an agreement to remove the Line 5 gas and oil pipeline from the Great Lakes.

“I am still talking with Enbridge," Whitmer said. "My hope is that we have a date certain that the pipeline comes out of the water, and we’ve got a resolution to this in the very near future.”

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

During his final days in office, former Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation that created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority. Its purpose? To oversee construction of a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac that would encase new oil and gas pipelines to replace Enbridge's aging Line 5.

KAYE LAFOND / Michigan Radio

A new poll finds Michiganders have mixed feelings about on oil pipeline running beneath the Mackinac Straits. 

Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline carries Canadian crude oil thru the straits on its way to Ontario.   The pipeline carries 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Three people stand outside in the snow, smiling.
Cody Bigjohn Jr.

Indigenous water walkers will travel from Mackinaw City to Lansing to call for a shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipelines.

 

Sarah Jo Shomin, Nancy Gallardo, and Cody Bigjohn Jr. plan to walk 311 miles over the next 17 days.

 

They're calling the journey "N'biish Nibimosaadaanaa", which is Anishinaabemowin for "We Walk for Water."

A choppy surf crashes against the beach underneath the Mackinac Bridge.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

A new report says the State of Michigan did not thoroughly review Enbridge’s ability to cover costs in the case of a spill from its twin Line 5 oil pipelines before it signed an agreement with the company. The pipelines run underneath the Straits of Mackinac.

A sign that says "Honor the Treaties" hangs between two trees against a snowy landscape.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

On a chilly day in early January, the ground at Camp Anishinaabek is covered in a foot of snow, extra crusty from thawing and re-freezing. The outdoor firepit where campers gather in warmer weather is deserted, and instead, they've congregated in a dark, slightly smoky tent.

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Governor Rick Snyder says he has no intention of interrupting the lame duck session. Protesters have been gathering in the state capitol over the last few weeks.

They’re frustrated with various bills that would do things like take away power from the Secretary of State and shape ballot initiatives that passed in November.

Enbridge Energy

A new study predicts a major potential economic effect of an oil spill in the Mackinac Straits to the entire Great Lakes region.

The Line 5 oil pipeline which crosses the Mackinac Straits is operated by Enbridge Energy.  

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Governor Rick Snyder announced Wednesday that his administration has reached an agreement with Enbridge Energy to replace Line 5, the 65 year old twin pipelines that run under the Straits of Mackinac connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. 

The agreement calls for a new pipeline that would run through a tunnel dug below the lake bed. 

Enbridge Energy

Several environmental groups are stepping up their efforts against an expected plan to build a tunnel for an oil pipeline that passes through the Mackinac Straits.

A spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder says the state is still “reviewing studies and working through all possible options” for what to do with Line 5.

But environmentalists believe the governor has already decided.

Activists object to Line 5 tunnel proposal

Sep 20, 2018
One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Environmental advocates are speaking out against a proposed agreement to build a tunnel over Enbridge Energy's Line 5, which runs under the straits of Mackinac. An anchor strike earlier this year highlighted concerns that a leak in that stretch of the pipeline could be a major environmental disaster.

A map shows dots representing anchor supports scattered along two pipelines located beneath open water.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Earlier this year, Enbridge applied for a permit to add 48 new anchor supports to its twin oil pipelines that run under the Straits of Mackinac.

protesters against Line 5 on the water
Courtesy of Andrea Pierce

This Saturday, a flotilla of kayaks, paddleboards, and birch bark canoes will paddle out into the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

It's the fourth annual Pipe Out Paddle Protest against the pair of oil and natural gas liquids pipelines known as Line 5 that lie beneath the Straits. 

A man at one table and a panel of 5 people at another table sit on the stage of a full auditorium
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Representatives from federal agencies, Enbridge, and industry and environmental groups testified on Line 5, oil spill prevention and preparedness at a Senate Commerce Committee field hearing in Traverse City on Monday.

A man and two women sit around a campfire, a banner in the background says "Honor the Treaties"
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Water Protectors are camping in Northern Michigan to call for a shutdown of Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline.

 

Report: Michigan doesn't need Line 5 for propane

Jul 27, 2018
map of Line 5
Enbridge

According to an independent report released Friday morning by the National Wildlife Federation, the Upper Peninsula does not need to use Enbridge’s Line 5 for its propane supply.

The Upper Peninsula currently relies on Line 5’s propane as a source of energy. But the report says Michigan can get propane via truck or rail for an estimated additional five cents per gallon.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

An independent report released Thursday analyzes the risks of a worst-case-scenario oil spill from Enbridge's Line 5.

Concern about Line 5, which runs through the Straits of Mackinac and transports crude oil into Canada, has been growing since an oil spill from another pipeline in 2010. When an anchor dented Line 5 in April, public outcry increased.

A man sits in front of an old tractor. Signs read "This tractor is the same age as the Line 5 pipeline. Both are as good as new. Not"
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing on Wednesday evening in Mackinaw City, taking comments on proposed new anchor supports for the Line 5 oil pipelines.

Screen showing Line 5 on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Has Governor Snyder's team partnered with Enbridge Energy in deciding the fate of Line 5?

That's the question explored in a joint investigation by Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Enbridge releases final reports on Line 5 risks

Jun 29, 2018
One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Enbridge Energy released three final reports related to an oil pipeline running under the Straits of Mackinac called Line 5. The reports were required under a November 2017 agreement with Governor Snyder. Snyder has said that he will use these reports, and a pending risk analysis by researchers from Michigan Technological University, to make a decision about Line 5 in the fall. 

The reports address three subjects: detection of underwater leaks, preventing anchor strikes, and identifying all of the vulnerable waterways in Michigan that could be at risk from a leak.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 could be moved into tunnel running 100 feet beneath the bottomlands of the Straits of Mackinac. Or it could be encased in a concrete and stone. Those are two options put forward today by the company as alternatives to allow it to continue to rest on the lakebed beneath the straits.

Enbridge’s report says either option virtually eliminates the risk of an oil spill in the Great Lakes.

The barge in the middle of the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

 


This week, the U.S. Supreme Court released a decision that could strengthen the fishing rights of Native American tribes across the nation. It could even give tribes in the Great Lakes region a legal framework to shut down Enbridge's Line 5 pipelines.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

A Canadian company will turn in a report tomorrow outlining whether it thinks a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac is a feasible option for its pipeline. A tunnel was suggested by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Enbridge Energy will release a report on their controversial Line 5 pipeline this Friday at the request of Governor Snyder.  

Enbridge is expected to recommend replacing the existing Line 5 with tunneled pipelines, much to the dismay of experts and attorneys across the state.

The 65-year-old pipeline runs beneath the Mackinac Straits. It transports natural gas liquids to refineries in the Upper Peninsula and Canada, where the gas is turned into propane.

Mackinac Bridge
Wikimedia Commons

Governor Rick Snyder wants an oil and gas pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac to eventually be de-commissioned.

The mist-shrouded straits served as a backdrop as the governor answered questions on a variety of topics. When asked about Enbridge Energy’s Line 5, he said the environmental risks are too great for the pipeline to remain where it’s been for the past 60 years.

“I don’t think anyone feels as comfortable as you’d like to having that pipeline and potentially other items on the bottom of the straits.”

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