Line 5: Shutting Down the Ticking Time Bomb
The outdated, 68-year-old pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac is set to be shut down in May. Enbridge’s time has run out — but they aren’t going down without a fight. A Line 5 rupture in the Straits of Mackinac would impact 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, take years to clean up and devastate our Great Lakes economy. Shutting down Line 5 is crucial to protect the Great Lakes from a catastrophic oil spill.
Join Michigan LCV and Jeff Insko, Professor of English at Oakland University, Whitney Gravelle, President, Bay Mills Indian Community, Riyaz Kanjii, Tribal Litigator at Kanji & Katzen and Michigan LCV board member, for a conversation on the steps to shutting down Line 5.
Shutting Down Line 5 is the Right Decision for Michigan
A Line 5 rupture in the Straits of Mackinac would impact 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, take years to clean up and devastate our Great Lakes economy. Gov. Whitmer’s action to revoke the easement agreement with Enbridge Line 5 will protect the Great Lakes from a catastrophic oil spill.
miles of shoreline impacted by a Line 5 rupture
THE LINE 5 DUAL PIPELINES UNDER THE STRAITS OF MACKINAC ARE DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR AND ARE NO LONGER SAFE TO OPERATE.
- In 2018, a tugboat anchor struck the pipeline, damaging it in multiple areas and nearly causing a rupture.
- Over the years, protective coating on the pipeline has worn away, exposing bare metal and weakening the pipeline’s integrity.
- Enbridge has consistently failed to properly anchor the pipeline to the lakebed, letting it sway uncontrolled in the strong Straits currents.
LINE 5 PROVIDES ONLY A PORTION OF THE PROPANE IN MICHIGAN AND THERE ARE BETTER SOURCES TO MEET THE U.P.’S ENERGY NEEDS.
- The U.P. Energy Task Force has provided a number of solutions to meet the U.P.’s energy needs that will maintain affordability and access through proper planning and alternatives.
- An independent study from London Economics International found that price impacts for propane from a Line 5 shut down would be negligible, at around 5 cents/gallon.
- The U.P. Energy Task force determined 3-4 truckloads or 1-2 train cars of propane per day could replace the U.P.’s reliance on Line 5 propane.
ENBRIDGE ENERGY VIOLATED ITS AGREEMENT WITH THE STATE OF MICHIGAN DEMONSTRATING A TOTAL DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF OUR GREAT LAKES.
- In 2010, Enbridge’s Line 6B Pipeline ruptured, spilling more than a million gallons of oil, which resulted in the largest inland oil spill in history.
- In June 2020, Line 5 was temporarily shut down due to significant damage to anchor supports on the pipeline caused by an anchor strike and Enbridge failed to inform state officials about the damage and condition of the line.
- In recent years, Enbridge has continuously failed to demonstrate proper care for the pipeline, violating its agreement with the state of Michigan.