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Line 5 isn’t worth the risk

In 2010, an Enbridge pipeline ruptured, spilling 1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. It was the largest spill in history and is still being cleaned up. Line 5 is 15 years older than that pipeline. So many residents of Michigan rely on our fresh water here in this special place we call “Pure Michigan.” The spilling of oil into the Kalamazoo was poorly handled despite claims from Enbridge that they would react quickly. This was one of 1,068 spills that dumped over 7 million gallons of oil in a 14-year span.

In a recent shopper’s guide, Enbridge had a large and sensational advertisement that desperately claims that Michigan residents rely on Line 5 and that “businesses that are already struggling through the pandemic will face higher energy costs, and potential job cuts and closures.” They claim millions in tax dollars will be “lost” and that there is no replacement plan.

In fact, 95% of the oil in Line 5 comes from Canada and is returned to Canada, only passing through our precious ecosystem. The difference in the price of reliance on fossil fuels vs. green energy is pennies. Greener heating alternatives actually retains through retraining and creates jobs. How is the risk worth using our state’s waterways when it’s only being sent back to Canada?

Enbridge intends to continue carrying the same tar sands oil that leaked into the Kalamazoo, the most pollutive of fossil fuels. This would be detrimental to our water, people and planet. There are green alternatives to replace that 5% used from Enbridge that are more efficient and ultimately more cost effective. Transportation options such as electric and high-speed rail and heating alternatives like heat pumps and hyper heating are just a few examples being used and researched by experts in this field.

Using an aging pipeline or a tunnel to transport a highly unsafe pollutant is not worth the 5% Michigan uses. Considering all of the better options and even simpler alternatives available to us, there is no excuse to support Enbridge in their greed or their sensational advertisements. We must pro-actively embrace these better alternatives if we are to create a “Pure Michigan” for generations to come.

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