Oil & Water Don’t Mix calls on state leaders to discard conflict-plagued reports, shut down Line 5 in Straits.
LANSING – With new evidence emerging by the day showing deep conflicts of interest in the State of Michigan’s Line 5 assessments, Oil & Water Don’t Mix today called on Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to acknowledge the assessment process is no longer credible and take immediate action to shut down the Line 5 oil pipelines in the Mackinac Straits.
“The facts clearly demonstrate these ‘independent’ assessments have Line 5-owner Enbridge Energy’s fingerprints all over them, and Bill Schuette should acknowledge the reports aren’t credible and take immediate action to shut down Line 5,” said David Holtz, Chair of Sierra Club Michigan Chapter and Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign coordinator. “It’s time for Bill Schuette to take real action on behalf of the people of Michigan – not continue to hide behind a report process that’s laden with conflicts of interest between Enbridge Energy and the state.”
An investigation released Tuesday details how Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, a private contractor hired by the State to conduct a Line 5 assessment, was simultaneously working on Enbridge Energy’s behalf in Minnesota – which reportedly Dynamic Risk failed to disclose to the state.
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In addition to the findings released Tuesday, Holtz highlighted additional new evidence showing the close connections between Dynamic Risk leaders, Big Oil companies and State of Michigan officials:
- One of the chief architects of the state’s draft Alternatives Analysis released last week, Dynamic Risk Senior Vice President Patrick Vieth, worked with MDEQ Director Heidi Grether as the two managed BP’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- In 2016, Vieth chaired the International Pipeline Conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, an event sponsored by Enbridge and other Big Oil companies.
- Less than 60 days ago, Vieth and Dynamic Risk appeared in a federal court filing on the Dakota Access Pipeline, just weeks after Enbridge reportedly acquired a financial stake in the controversial pipeline. In a U.S. District Court filing on May 15, 2017, the Trump administration submitted a report from Vieth to the court that challenges a 2016 study questioning the reliability of pipeline safety inspection tools. Vieth’s report appears to be an analysis done for Energy Transfer Partners, a business partner with Enbridge that is building the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- While Dynamic Risk was the lead firm in charge of the state’s Line 5 study, questions have also been raised about other companies involved with the alternatives analysis. Two firms that reviewed the draft report prior to its release also have ties to Enbridge. Both the Stantec Company and Kelly Geotechnical Company have worked with Enbridge in recent years, providing engineering support for multiple pipeline projects in the U.S. and Canada. They were hired by Dynamic Risk as part of the project team that produced the report.
“It’s time for Bill Schuette to take real action on behalf of the people of Michigan – not continue to hide behind a report process that’s laden with conflicts of interest between Enbridge Energy and the state.” - David Holtz, Sierra Club Michigan Chair
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