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From Canada Comes the Truth about Enbridge’s Line 5: It’s not about Michigan’s Energy Needs

New video released today tells the real energy story about a dangerous oil pipeline in the Great Lakes.

Enbridge’s campaign of misleading claims that Michigan needs its dangerous Line 5 oil pipeline has sprung a major truth-telling leak in Enbridge’s home base of Canada. The pipeline that crosses through the heart of the Great Lakes is becoming a major national news topic.

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In Canada, the focus of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to shut down Line 5 is around the pipeline as a major energy source for Canada, which is damaging Enbridge’s false claims that Line 5 is a critical energy infrastructure for Michigan.

Sign Biden Petition“The [Line 5] oil is flowing into Canada,” Canadian energy analyst Dr. Warren Maybee told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s program, The Current, on Wednesday. “In this case, we need that oil. The U.S. doesn’t really gain any benefit, as has been pointed out. Most of it is just traveling through their country in order to feed into our system.”

Maybee is Director of Queen’s University’s Institute for Energy & Environmental Policy and his analysis that Enbridge’s Line 5 provides little benefit to Michigan reflects the fact that 80% of oil and other hazardous liquids transported through the Straits of Mackinac and Michigan end up back in Canada.

It is that truth--that Line 5 is primarily an energy source for Canada and not the United States-- that dominates Canadian media coverage. Video storyteller Bill Latka captures this reality of Line 5 in a new short video released today by Oil & Water Don’t Mix.


“For too long, Enbridge has spent millions pushing a false narrative to convince Michiganders that Line 5 is critical for Michigan, “ said Latka. “This video puts a spotlight on the proof that this is not the case.”

Dr. Maybee also makes the point in a January interview with CBC that the United States no longer needs Canadian oil and so closing down the Keystone XL pipeline, for example, is of little major consequence for U.S. energy.

“The [Line 5] oil is flowing into Canada. In this case, we need that oil. The U.S. doesn’t really gain any benefit, as has been pointed out. Most of it is just traveling through their country in order to feed into our system.” - Dr. Warren Maybee

"A decade ago, we were integral," Maybee told CBC. "In fact, the United States would think of Canada as part of the United States when they were looking at their energy supply. And I don't think that's the case anymore."

Enbridge’s Line 5 was constructed through Michigan and the Straits of Mackinac in 1953. Under Gov. Whitmer’s action, it is slated to be shut down by mid-May. Meanwhile, Enbridge is pursuing a proposed project to replace the twin Straits pipelines with a massive new fossil fuel tunnel that is 6 feet to 250 feet under the lakebed. One of the questions Enbridge must answer is whether there is a public need in Michigan for Line 5 that can’t be fulfilled through other, better options that are more likely to serve the interests of Michiganders.

Showing 3 reactions

  • Barbara Stamiris
    commented 2023-03-17 14:40:33 -0400
    OMG. How’d I miss this IMPORTANT Line 5 video?
    70 yrs of oil in the Great Lakes is insane (when Enbridge has a 7 yr line around the lakes to the same destination in Sarnia)!
  • Stephen Boyle
    commented 2021-02-27 20:22:34 -0500
    We’ve got to look at what has happened within the last 10 years. Line 6B which runs past the BP Refinery (Whiting, Indiana) then across the southern part of Michigan WAS REPLACED due to the 2010 rupture near Talmadge Creek (Kalamazoo area). The company was faced with a choice to replace or scuttle Line 6B. (Article from 2014 – https://www.voicenews.com/news/why-enbridge-is-replacing-line-6b-instead-of-the-older-line-5/article_cc3c373c-4038-54a8-ae84-cbe328c18365.html). Enbridge has said the Marathon Refinery in SW Detroit needed Line 6B to deliver from Ortonville. It is worth noting Line 5 conjoins with 6B at Marysville to cross over into Canada. Enbridge is insisting that both pipelines are vital, why?
    What products does Line 5 carry that Line 6B does not/could not?
    If we are to be reducing fossil fuel dependency then it is time to make Line 5 stop, shut it down. If Enbridge / Trans Canada can’t figure out routing product through existing pipelines then they are even more dim-witted than I feared. There are so many layers of redundancy that need eliminated.
  • Bill Latka
    published this page in News 2021-02-12 10:33:16 -0500

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