A recent article by Curt Guyette of ACLU Michigan, discussed the need for public access to information about pipelines like Line 5.
Currently the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has an exemption which allows energy infrastructure information to remain secret. The Michigan House of Representatives is working on a similar exemption for oil and gas infrastructure in the state of Michigan. These exemptions are meant to protect us from possible terrorist attacks and attempts to sabotage our energy security. However, the chances that such a terrorist attack will happen are extremely unlikely, whereas the chances of pipeline rupture and an ensuing environmental disaster are high. There has never been a terrorist attack of any type on any United States energy infrastructure, ever in the country's history. Never. Not even once. However, in the last year alone there have been over 700 oil and gas pipeline failures which have killed 19 people, injured 97 and caused over $300 million in damage. Information about these pipelines could be crucial in forcing energy companies to make repairs, or to shut their pipelines down entirely. Thus free access to energy infrastructure information can only make Michigan a safer and healthier place.