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Michigan water activists urge Canada to stop subsidizing Line 5

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  • Lee Devito
  • Activists staged a demonstration Wednesday to demand Canada support Michigan’s efforts to shut down the Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes region.

Water activists have called on Canadian officials to support Michigan’s efforts to shut down Line 5 double pipelineswhich has Over 1 million gallons of oil spilled In the Strait of Mackinac and surrounding waters.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered Canadian natural gas company Enbridge Energy to shut down Line 5 in May, but they ignored the order while challenging it in court.

Sean McBurty, campaign coordinator at the Oil and Water Don’t Mix Coalition, said Canada shares the responsibility to protect these waters.

“You can protect the Great Lakes and our climate and support the closure of Line 5 in the Strait of Mackinac, and you need to do that, or you can support Enbridge and its fossil fuel agenda, but you can’t do both,” McBurty emphasized.

Environmental activists and advocates gathered near Canadian consulates in Detroit, Chicago and Windsor to protest Canada’s continued support for Line 5. In Wisconsin, groups gathered at Lake Michigan in Milwaukee.

In addition to the pipeline itself that puts the Strait of Mackinac and other Great Lakes waters at risk of oil spills, the continuation of Line 5 supports the burning of fossil fuels, said Jamie Simmons, liaison director for the Michigan Climate Action Network.

She said that in order to prevent the worst effects of climate change, countries need to halve global emissions by 2030, and switch to net zero by 2050.

“Achieving this goal is what Canada agreed to when it ratified Paris climate agreement“Allowing Line 5 to continue operating or to replace it with a new oil tunnel, as Enbridge suggests, is inconsistent with the climate objective,” Simmons noted.

Bridge and the state of Michigan are currently in mediation through September 30. Canadian officials have lobbied the United States to keep Line 5 open, but the Oil and Water Coalition does not mix urging them to focus instead on a national energy policy to protect the Great Lakes.

Originally Posted on September 2, 2021 Michigan News Connect. It is republished here with permission.

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