Line 5 transports 540,000 barrels of crude oil and refined products per day from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario. The state of Michigan, which fears oil spills in the Great Lakes region, is calling for its closure. The Fifth Line runs under the Strait of Mackinac, which separates Lake Huron from Lake Michigan.
this year, Enbridge I ignored Michigan’s order to shut down the pipeline. The two parties now found themselves in a legal battle and engaged in court-ordered mediation.
The Canadian government has asked for help from its US counterparts to lobby to keep the pipeline in service.
In a letter to the federal judge handling the case, legal counsel to the Canadian government, Gordon Jeff, said that Canada had formally invoked Article 6 of the agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Transmission Pipelines, which dates back to 1977.
The latter, which was created to prevent US or Canadian officials from blocking the flow of oil through the two countries, has never been used before.
No public authority in the territory of either Party may take measures other than those provided for in Article V [désastre naturel], whose purpose is, or will have the effect, of preventing, deflecting, redirecting or impeding in any way the delivery of hydrocarbons in transit.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement
deeply disappointed form Canada.
The risk of a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes region is very real. It has made it clear to Enbridge that it cannot continue to use the state-owned lake bed for its pipelines, but Enbridge refuses to stop. In addition, rather than diversifying its energy supply sources, Canada is focusing its efforts on defending an oil company with a poor environmental record.She regrets.
The same disappointment on the part of the organization environmental defense.
We were stunned by Canada’s decision to invoke this treaty and to intervene in legal proceedings between Michigan and Enbridge. According to experts from the University of Michigan, Line 5 is located in a very dangerous location due to the oil spill in the Great Lakes region. This pipeline must be closed. We can meet our energy needs differentlysays Michelle Woodhouse, director of the Water Advocacy Program.
For his part, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau assured us that Canada is committed to ensuring the country’s economic and energy security while protecting the environment.
For more than 65 years, Line 5 has been the safest way to move oil from western Canada to central Canada, helping to provide essential energy to heat homes and fuel the Canadian economy.wrote in a press release.
In addition, Canada supports a planEnbridge To replace the existing pipeline with the Great Lakes Tunnel Project, which will run under Lake Mackinac, to better protect the Great Lakes, he adds.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney supports the Ottawa strategy.
The shutdown of a safely operated pipeline is likely to set a dangerous precedent for future infrastructure projects. This should not happen. As we continue to manage the devastating effects of the global recession caused by COVID-19, it is more important than ever that Canada and the United States work together to support a continental energy strategy.He said in a statement.
The US State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.
spokespersonEnbridgeMichigan has informed the various parties involved that it is not willing to commit to continuing the mediation process, says Tracy Larson.
We greatly appreciate the efforts of Team Canada, including the Canadian government and the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Saskatchewan, to keep Line 5 open.She said in an email.
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