BREAKING: Michigan Water Protector Shuts Down Line 5

October 19, 2021

Video: @UpHellsCreek and Facebook: Up Hell’s Creek Camp. 

This morning, in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s order to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5, a Michigan water protector has taken direct action to shut down the tar sands oil pipeline

Whitmer herself has stated, “Enbridge has imposed on the people of Michigan an unacceptable risk of a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes that could devastate our economy and way of life.”

The unidentified Michigan water protector echoed this urgency, stating, “Enbridge has no legal right to operate this pipeline and the continued operation of Line 5 is an imminent threat to my life, and the lives of an untold number of other people and living beings. All other routes have been exhausted, Enbridge has been operating the pipeline illegally since May 12th and direct action must be taken to enforce the governor’s order and begin healing Mother Earth”. 

Tuesday morning outside of Vasser, Michigan along the 645-mile route of Line 5, the water protector first called Enbridge and asked them to turn off the pipeline safely. Then, clad in safety gear, the water protector approached the line and safely and non-violently halted operation of the pipeline. 

Valve turners have previously shut down Line 3 and Line 4 in 2019. In 2016, five valve turners across the country shut down 15% of the United States daily oil consumption. Similar to these incidents, the Michigan water protectors argue that they took this urgent action out of necessity to prevent on-going climate catastrophe.

“I know my life is in danger because of the risk of a spill and because of the contributions of Enbridge to climate change. In Detroit, we saw record flooding leave cars strewn across the city and upend lives; elsewhere people have died in wildfires and hurricanes, or from starvation as unpredictable weather patterns destroy food production.”

“When Enbridge Corporation began construction on Line 5 in 1953, they marketed it as a safe, 50-year tool that would be profitable to the land and people. Instead, they erected a 645-mile pollution conduit that has spilled more than 1.1 million (known) gallons of oil to date.” 

“Similar inland oil spills—the 2010 spill of 1.2 million gallons from Line 6B in Kalamazoo, Michigan and the 1991 spill of 1.7 million gallons from Line 3 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota—both Enbridge pipelines that the company failed to promptly address when notified of the spills. These facts foreshadow the very real potential for a spill in the face of the irresponsible track record of Enbridge.” 

“The negligence of Enbridge is eminent and must be considered when assessing any claims from the oil company regarding the safety of Line 5. Additionally, Line 5 has had multiple anchor strikes in recent years.”

“Furthermore, this observation highlights the false narrative that pipeline infrastructure is necessary, as evidenced by the findings of the U.P. Energy Task Force.”

Michigan is one mistake [or natural disaster] away from a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes.

executive order no. 2019-14

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