enbridge energy | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

enbridge energy

Demonstrators unfurled a large "Shut Down Line 5" sign during the flotilla.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The State of Michigan is holding a number of public meetings online regarding the proposed tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac for Enbridge's Line 5. The first is being held Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

A dive team works on Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

 This story was updated 8:00 p.m. August 19, 2020. 

Groups representing business, environmentalists, and Native Americans are calling on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to shut down Enbridge's Line 5.

The more than 600 mile long pipeline carrying crude oil and natural gas liquids is 67 years old. A section of Line 5 sits on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lakes Michigan and Huron. The pipeline splits into twin pipelines under the Straits.

Enbridge

A newly constructed segment of the Enbridge Line 5  is now operating. This section is under the Saint Clair River just south of Port Huron, Michigan and crosses into Sarnia, Ontario.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office will not appeal a court decision which would allow a tunnel to be constructed beneath the Straits of Mackinac to house a replacement for the aging Enbridge Line 5 twin pipelines.

The tunnel was supported by former Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican led legislature to house a replacement for the aging twin pipelines called Line 5 operated by Enbridge.

Enbridge Energy

Enbridge said Tuesday it has found four places where protective coating has worn away on its Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

According to Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy, crews found the bare metal spots last week while preparing to install steel screw anchors. The spots are on the east segment of the dual pipeline.

SCREENSHOT FROM ENBRIDGE REPORT TO THE STATE

The Canadian pipeline company Enbridge was in court Friday fighting an attempt to shut down its Line 5 oil and liquid natural gas pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.

In an online hearing before 30th Circuit Court Judge James S. Jamo, the Attorney General’s office argued the 1953 easement along the bottom of the Straits should not have been granted for the pipeline. It said that easement should be invalidated because it violates the Public Trust Doctrine.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan regulators want more information from Enbridge about its plan to build an oil pipeline tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy told the company in a letter this week its application is “incomplete.” Gongwer News Service reports EGLE “took issue with Enbridge currently not submitting finalized dimensions for the pipeline, such as an exact diameter.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Environmentalists, the Michigan Attorney General, and many others are keeping an eye on every step of the process of replacing Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge’s Line 5 is the pipeline that crosses the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan to transport oil and liquid natural gases to Canada.

But there’s another place where Line 5 is going under a body of water that’s part of the Great Lakes. Enbridge is replacing that pipeline under the St. Clair River just south of Lake Huron.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Fourteen civic, environmental and tribal groups have urged Governor Gretchen Whitmer to take immediate new steps to protect the Great Lakes in case of a possible wintertime rupture of Enbridge's Line 5, the pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac.

In an October 25 letter, the groups asked Whitmer to tighten standards that would trigger a shutdown of Line 5 during rough seas and ice.

map of Line 5
Enbridge Energy

A tribe in Northern Wisconsin still wants Line 5 off their land, despite a $24 million offer from Enbridge.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge Energy earlier this year, asking them to immediately shut down the portion of the Line 5 oil pipeline that runs through their reservation.

Two sheets of paper, one with a meeting agenda, one with a resolution in support of Enbridge's Line 5 tunnel.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Cheboygan County passed a resolution to support Enbridge’s construction of a tunnel underneath the Straits of Mackinac at their board meeting Tuesday morning. 

 

Eight counties — Cheboygan, Delta, Dickinson, Houghton, Iron, Gogebic, Grand Traverse and Ontonagon — have now passed nearly identical resolutions.

map of Line 5
Enbridge Energy

A tribe in northern Wisconsin is suing Enbridge Energy to try to force the closure of Line 5.

Dylan Jennings is a council member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.  He says the pipeline is an increasing threat to a fragile watershed. 

a map shows the straits of mackinac with some satellite imagery
screenshot from Enbridge report to the state

Indigenous governments and activists in the Great Lakes have been leaders in the movement to shut down the twin oil pipelines that run under the Mackinac Straits.

Now, one of the most visible people in that movement has left his tribal government job and set up his own consulting firm. One of his clients? The pipelines’ owner, Enbridge Energy.

This sudden change has upset indigenous communities in the region, and some worry it’s a “divide-and-conquer” tactic.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is taking legal action to decommission Enbridge's Line 5.

Nessel's office announced Thursday that the attorney general filed a lawsuit asking the Ingham County Circuit Court to find whether Enbridge’s continued operation of Line 5 violates the public trust doctrine, is a common law public nuisance, and whether the pipeline violates the Michigan Environmental Protection Act.

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.

Photos and video of damage to Line 5 released

May 15, 2019
The east Line 5 oil pipeline, which was struck by an anchor last April.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

Newly released images from Enbridge Energy show damage sustained to the Line 5 oil pipelines from an anchor strike last April.

work being done under Mackinac bridge
Enbridge

A company that runs electric lines beneath the Straits of Mackinac says a proposed tunnel could be dangerous.  

The proposed tunnel would house a replacement section of Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline.

But it could also be used to hold other utility lines, including electrical cables.

Tim Finco is with the American Transmission Company.

The Petoskey News-Review reported Finco wrote in a letter the company doesn't believe it's a good idea to install its high-voltage electric lines in close proximity to high pressure oil or gas lines.

work being done under Mackinac bridge
Enbridge

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is in talks with Enbridge about a proposed tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac for its Line 5 pipeline. That's according to the Detroit News.

work being done under Mackinac bridge
Enbridge

It’s not an F, but it is an I for Incomplete.

That’s the grade a federal judge is giving regulators for approving Enbridge Energy’s emergency response plan for an oil spill from Line 5, the pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge gas pipeline explodes in Southeastern Ohio

Jan 22, 2019
Daniel Fleming / Flickr Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The rupture of an Enbridge gas pipeline outside of Summerfield, Ohio sent flames into the air at 10:40 a.m. Monday and caused the evacuation of nearby residents.

The Noble County Sheriff's Office said first responders extinguished the fire Monday.

Oil booms placed near shore during spill response drill in the Straits of Mackinac.
Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

The partial government shutdown has closed programs that monitor conditions in the Great Lakes. 

Eric Anderson is with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Anderson, who has been furloughed without pay, says normally, the laboratory runs a computer modeling program 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which monitors ice conditions and the movement of the swift currents in the Straits of Mackinac.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

People have until December 18th to weigh in on a plan to build a new section of pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. The pipeline would be put in a tunnel under the bedrock of the Straits and carry crude oil and natural gas liquids.

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 bill that would let Enbridge Energy build a tunnel under the bedrock of the Straits of Mackinac is now on its way to the governor's desk. Enbridge would replace the section of Line 5 that runs under the Straits, and build a new section of pipeline that would run through the tunnel.

A woman wearing warm clothing holds a sign that says "Shut Down Line 5, No Tunnel".
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Demonstrators gathered in Petoskey on Saturday, opposing the state's plan to build a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, which would house twin oil pipelines owned by Canadian company Enbridge Energy.

Enbridge Energy

Enbridge Energy has been granted its request for a permit to install 48 new anchor supports on Line 5, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac.  

The company says the new supports are a proactive measure meant to ensure the pipeline is supported every 75 feet along the lakebed in the future.   

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders appear to have struck a deal that could cement a plan to bury the controversial Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

In October, it was announced that Enbridge Energy had agreed to replace and bury the stretch of the aging oil and gas pipeline in a tunnel under the bedrock under the Straits of Mackinac. 

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.