The Real Condition of Line 5
Enbridge is a Canadian pipeline company that owns and operates the Line 5 oil pipeline. It exists to move fossil fuel products and make a profit. It will do and say anything to keep making a profit. It will even lie. Watch what Enbridge does, not what it says:
- Enbridge was fined $1.8 million because it didn't correctly inspect Line 5 and its other pipelines.
- Enbridge Line 6B spilled 1.1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River after knowing the pipeline was unsafe but not repairing it.
- Enbridge lied about the status of the protective coating on Line 5.
- Enbridge Line 5 has spilled 33 times and 1.1 million gallons along its length.
Be very wary of the fossil fuel industry's talking points. Use the information below to make up your mind about the Line 5 pipeline and the proposed Great Lakes Tunnel.
Take action here if you want to help to protect the Great Lakes.
THE TRUTH VS. ENBRIDGE LIES
Michigan needs the energy provided by Line 5.
About 95% of the product in Line 5 goes to Sarnia, Canada. Much of that continues flowing via the Line 9 pipeline to Montreal refineries. Enbridge reversed Line 9 in 2012 for its "Eastern Access Initiative" to move oil from Alberta to the east coast of Canada.
Gasoline prices would soar without Line 5.
Previously classified court documents reveal that Enbridge experts stated gasoline prices would increase only 0.5¢ per gallon in Michigan and the Midwest without Line 5. Only 5¢/gallon in Ontario. Line 5 is not necessary.
Michigan needs a tunnel to "make a safe pipeline safer."
First, the pipeline has violated several safety requirements of the agreement it made to use the Great Lakes, so it's not safe. It is located in a busy shipping channel and has already been struck by anchors. Twice. Second, Enbridge only performed half of the geotechnical work required to survey the underwater location for its tunnel thoroughly. There is no guarantee the tunnel will be safe. Independent experts warn of two kinds of tunnel explosion risks.
Counter Enbridge lies by taking action to protect the Great Lakes and climate.
The Line 5 tunnel will be in the bedrock below the Great Lakes.
Enbridge geotechnical reports state much of the tunnel would be constructed through unconsolidated sediments, low rock cover, and segments subject to collapse. The report also says a significant number of test borings were terminated near the middle portion of the alignment, so there are portions where the rock quality and conditions within the tunnel path have not been directly investigated.
Environmentalists are blocking Enbridge from building a tunnel.
The system in place to review massive infrastructure projects like the Line 5 tunnel requires Enbridge to obtain three permits. Enbridge has one from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), but the other two needed permits from MPSC and US Army Corps are going through a years-long process. They may never be approved for reasons beyond Enbridge or environmentalists' control. For example, climate change.
If Line 5 is shut down, 2,100 trucks will cross the Mackinac Bridge daily.
This number reflects the total amount of product carried through Line 5, not the much smaller amount that Michigan would need. The propane required for Michigan would be roughly 3-4 truckloads per day or 1-2 train cars per day. Experts have testified that other existing pipelines could carry the remaining product.
A new study says, "without Line 5, gasoline would increase Michigan's spend $2.2 billion per year."
This study by Consumers Energy Alliance is highly suspect because it's an advocacy front group for some of the country's largest fossil fuel corporations and trade associations. Enbridge experts testified that gasoline prices would rise less than 1¢/gallon without Line 5.
Shutting down Line 5 will leave Upper Peninsula residents without much-needed propane.
U.P. residents will not lose access to propane. Line 5 only provides propane to roughly 12,000 homes and businesses in the central U.P., and other propane sources and providers already exist. Only 0.25% of the product in Line 5 is offloaded in the U.P. as propane. The U.P. Energy Task Force found several options other than Line 5 with comparable costs. Propane retailers have notified their customers that they can provide propane without Line 5.
Without Line 5, the price of propane will skyrocket in Michigan.
According to the most comprehensive study, shutting down Line 5 might result in a temporary price increase of less than 5¢/gallon- well within normal market price fluctuations.
Upper Peninsula residents will freeze without Line 5 propane.
The state is already implementing the administrative recommendations outlined in the U.P. Energy Task Force propane supply report. Plus, the energy market adjusts quickly. Several solutions include trucking propane from Superior, WI, rail transport from Conway, KS, or Edmonton, AB, and increased propane storage. These solutions could be rapidly developed and deployed.
Refineries in Ohio will shut down if Line 5 is shut down.
PBF Refinery in Toledo asserts that they have no other source of petroleum and would have to shut down without Line 5, and they'd lose 1,000 jobs. However, in investor filings, three pipelines supply PBF: Capline and Midvalley from the south and Line 5 from the north. They also only employ 550 people, so it is unclear how they would lose 1,000 jobs.
The Detroit airport will run out of jet fuel if Line 5 is shut down.
Based on numbers published by PBF, BP Husky, and Marathon Refineries, Line 5 appears to supply only about 10% of the jet fuel at Detroit Metro Airport, not 40% as claimed by Ohio Gov. DeWine. Marathon and PBF have other crude oil sources, and other pipelines could provide feedstock to satisfy regional jet fuel needs. Alternatively, nearby Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio refineries could make up this shortfall.
Thousands of Michiganders depend on Line 5 for their jobs.
Enbridge only employs 116 workers and provisioned contractors in Michigan. More jobs would be created by decommissioning and removing Line 5 (2,188 jobs) than by building a tunnel (1,763 temporary jobs). More than 1.3 million regional jobs depend on the Great Lakes, creating $82 billion in annual wages.
Half-True Things Enbridge Says
- Line 5 hasn't spilled in the Straits. • Yet. Correct, but Line 5 has spilled 33 times and 1.1 million gallons along its length.
- Line 5 supplies some propane to the Lower Peninsula. • True, but nothing that other suppliers can't replace for a cost well within market fluctuations.
- Pipelines are the safest way to move oil. • They are, but when the oil is burned after making its way to refineries, it overheats the atmosphere. This happens every day.
If you've seen a "Great Lakes. Michigan Jobs." ad like this, you've seen an Enbridge ad.
"Great Lakes. Michigan Jobs." is not a 'citizen's group,' but is a front group funded by Enbridge Energy and other fossil-fuel promoting organizations like the American Petroleum Institute.
Why is Enbridge spending millions in advertising to convince Michiganders that the Line 5 pipeline and tunnel are necessary for Michigan?
Because they are not necessary.
About the Line 5 problem.
About the Tunnel problem.
Oil & Water Don't Mix is a campaign funded by citizens' donations and supported by concerned citizens, environmental groups, tribes, places of worship, and large and small businesses that want to protect Michiganders and our environment. Read about our steering committee. We don't have a profit motive. Our motives are clean water for Michiganders, protecting the Great Lakes and the Michigan economy that relies on them, and a healthy climate for all.
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