After promoting fake ads all summer in a slick paid statewide media campaign, Line 5 owner Enbridge has now reportedly apologized for misleading the public.
Enbridge’s ads are headlined, “We’re working to protect Michigan’s water.” Nothing could be further from the truth than that headline and those Enbridge ads, which seek to portray the Canadian energy transport company responsible for 2010’s largest oil pipeline rupture in Michigan history as a good environmental steward of the Great Lakes.
If all Enbridge was doing was lying to the public in this fake ad, their apology would be accepted and that might be the end of the story. But while Enbridge can photoshop away a NOAA logo and use a NOAA scientist to make Enbridge look like Great Lakes water protectors, the Canadian company’s awful track record can’t be so easily erased.
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In the ads, Enbridge featured a government scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory working in the Straits of Mackinac but removed his government logo to make it look like he was from Enbridge.
The NOAA scientist in the ad -- not Enbridge -- is working to protect Great Lakes water quality. And it is NOAA that will have to help deal with the consequences of an Enbridge oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac from Line 5, which may explain why Enbridge’s fake ad was particularly offensive to NOAA Great Lakes workers. Enbridge, of course, put out their fake ad without asking or receiving permission from NOAA. Meanwhile, Michiganders, who come by their love for the Great Lakes honestly, are supporting Attorney General Dana Nessel’s efforts to decommission Enbridge’s Line 5 in the Mackinac Straits.
Enbridge can photoshop away a NOAA logo and use a NOAA scientist to make Enbridge look like Great Lakes water protectors, the Canadian company’s awful track record can’t be so easily erased.
Consider Enbridge’s awful track record:
- Enbridge’s negligence caused the largest oil pipeline rupture in Michigan history near Marshall nine years ago but they were allowed to construct an even bigger pipeline to replace the old Line 6B that ruptured.
- Enbridge’s track record includes $177 million in civil penalties, $1.3 billion in damages and more than 2.3 million gallons of spilled oil.
- Less than two years ago, Enbridge agreed to pay a $1.8 million fine for failing to thoroughly inspect its pipelines for weaknesses as required under a 2016 agreement that covers their dangerous Line 5.
- Enbridge lied about Line 5 safety when it knew that since 2003 numerous bottom support anchors were missing and failed to disclose it until 2017, nine months after a report documented that pipeline spans of up to 286 feet had no anchor support.
- Enbridge violated its easement agreement with the state but is now suing to force the state to accept additional agreements that would keep Line 5 operating.
- In 2017 Enbridge claimed that missing protective coatings along the Straits pipeline were a mere “hypothetical” possibility, while at the same time a video in their possession showed areas of missing coatings and the company had known of bare spots since 2014.
- Enbridge’s claims about Line 5 pipeline safety were put to the test when an anchor was deployed in the Straits of Mackinac in April 2018 denting and gouging Line 5. Enbridge’s technology failed that test when, despite the damage to Line 5, no warnings were triggered and it was three weeks before underwater vehicles contracted by Enbridge could safely navigate the turbulent Straits to put eyes on the damage.
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