There are millions of energy pipelines crisscrossing the U.S. and Michigan, including the Enbridge oil pipelines in the Mackinac Straits. Many of these pipelines are about ready to burst.
Northern Express Columnist Stephen Tuttle weighs in
There are more than 2,000,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines in the United States. More than half are at least 50 years old.
Here in Michigan there are 70,000 miles of pipeline running over, under, around, and through us. Some run right under our backyards. All of them are adjacent to or way too close to wetlands, rivers, lakes and streams.
There is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) -- the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) -- responsible for inspecting these pipelines to keep us safe. They have virtually no chance of doing that job thoroughly.
Under the best of circumstances, the PHMSA can inspect about 7% of our primary gas pipelines and about 44% of our primary oil and hazardous materials pipelines. Secondary pipelines aren’t inspected at all. That’s under the best of circumstances.