The Oil and Water Don't Mix campaign issued a press release in response to the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force's official recommendations.
LANSING – In a report released today, Governor Rick Snyder’s Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force went public with recommendations that hold some promise but lack a commitment to an open public process and immediate protective actions, leaving the Great Lakes and Michigan’s economy – with one in five jobs tied to abundant, high quality fresh water – vulnerable to a catastrophic oil spill from a pair of aging pipelines that push 23 million gallons of oil a day through the Straits of Mackinac, said leaders of the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign.
While the state acknowledged for the first time that it, and not just the federal government, has the authority to regulate and even “decommission” the Straits pipelines, groups involved in the campaign said today that Governor Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette are failing to uphold their legal duty to protect the Great Lakes by not immediately shutting down Enbridge’s aging “Line 5” oil pipelines in light of experts’ concerns that the 62-year-old pipelines soon could fail.
Download the press release here.
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As your organization did, I too found that the report falls woefully short of what is necessary to protect our Great Lakes—not only in its recommendations, but in its seemingly casual view of this disaster waiting to happen.
Where is the sense of urgency?
Where is a timeline for having the recommended analyses and information gathering completed?
What are the next steps?
Instead, the report now resides on a government website, collecting dust, as the task force members, no doubt, go on with other business, patting themselves on the back for another job well done.
What’s more, of the five recommendations regarding Line 5, only ONE calls for immediate action: the banning of heavy crude through the line. However, I find this supposedly “bold” action to be disingenuous. Enbridge has always maintained that it has never shipped heavy crude through the line and has no plans to do so in the future. And here we have Bill Schuette almost boasting about this critical executive decisive he and his team have made. To put it in the vernacular: Give me a frickin’ break!
As usual, since we cannot trust those in government to do what’s right, it appears (that once again) getting this pipeline shutdown will require a grassroots movement among the people. And I, for one, am ready for the fight.