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Posted on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 10:24 a.m.

Enbridge must get environmental house in order before approving other projects

By Letters to the Editor

Ms. Biolchini, in her article about the new Enbridge addition, says: "The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a settlement agreement." Are we to believe these people are professionals? Haven't they read the history of Enbridge in Michigan?

Ms. Biochini goes on to point out a protest recently at the capitol. I cannot speak for all at the rally, but from my point of view it seems sensible that if a company spills 800,000 gallons of oil in one year (after neglecting to service the pipeline properly for years) there might be more. How about 3,000 plus, each year, since at least 2003, topping a million in 2009, in different parts of Michigan? Recalling that these pipelines carry tar sands crude (which uses 1.2 gallons to make a gallon, for which wildlife is randomly shot, and which oil is bound for export, not local use), my question becomes simple: how much is the Michigan Public Service Commission being paid to say yes (come on, all you investigative reporters out there)? We already know the Koch brothers, high political donors in other arenas, have a stake in TransCanada, which subcontracts out to Enbridge, Might I suggest that until Enbridge can get its (which really means OUR) environmental house in order (please recall the stretch of the Kalamazoo River where the spill occurred could not be used publicly for over two years), they avoid allowing projects like this to go forward. Michigan, as it was when Canada dumped its garbage here, is only being used for convenient profits of an unreliable corporate entity enabled by this "Public" Service Commission. Jon F. Krueger



E. Manuel Goldstein

Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

Building new pipelines, such as keystone and this one being proposed by enbridge, should be looked at in exactly the way this author does. Why build new pipelines if the ones currently in use are not properly maintained? Thousands of people could be employed RIGHT NOW to service, maintain, and repair existing pipes. Enbridge, BP, the Koch brothers, and many other greedy oil and gas companies are bad actors, who are using their wealth to influence government and de-regulate their operations. This can have very negative consequences for our community. Just ask those who live along the Kalamazoo River if they are happy with the 'cleanup' that has taken place for 2 years. Imagine if the same spill happened on the Huron - our drinking water source.

Ron Granger

Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

For Enbridge, spills are just part of doing business. Here's yet another enbridge spill, last week. Company Plans Repairs After Wisconsin Oil Spill Published: July 29, 2012 GRAND MARSH, Wis. (Reuters) — Enbridge of Canada expects on Monday to begin replacing part of a pipeline that leaked more than 1,000 barrels of oil in a Wisconsin field, shutting down a crucial conduit from Canada. The spill on Friday was the latest in a series of episodes that threaten to damage the reputation of Enbridge, a company that began its most ambitious expansion program ever just two months ago. It came almost two years to the day after a ruptured Enbridge line fouled part of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

According to the Associated Press, whom I trust much more than Enbridge's facemen, the company knew by 2005 that its pipeline near Battle Creek was cracked and corroded, and they did nothing about it until the massive spill, which was the biggest onshore oil spill ever. Furthermore, when the spill began, alarms went off and continued to go off, but Enbridge workers ignored the alarms and kept pumping oil anyway. When the National Transportation Safety Board investigated, lead investigator Barry Strauch found that, "Their failure to act reflected a culture of deviance about following company procedures"(Associated Press). Unfortunately for Michigan residents, the NTSB does not have the power to regulate pipeline companies. Enbridge presents a clear and present danger to Michigan's residents and natural resources. The next big spill could be into the Huron river, and it will be our fault for allowing this "deviant" company a free pass.


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

I'm sure Enbridge will learned from their mistakes...oh...oops...


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

Donbee your logic sounds straight out of Faux News. If Enbridge is better than the industry average and Enbridge just caused the worst pipeline disaster in history, what good is being better than the industry average? The acidic, sludgy tar sands oil will go to the Chinese no matter what happens in Michigan. The Chinese own most of the tar sands mining pits in Alberta and are looking for the best way to get it to China. If, we can only hope, the State Department does a real review of the environmental risks and impact of the Keystone pipeline and therefore rejects it, the Chinese will find another way. It will however cost them more, and maybe their use of this super carbon producing oil will be slowed until the world increases its renewable energy capacity. We not only can live without oil as our primary source of energy, we can't live with it.


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

RayA2 - Sorry no Faux News here, only US EPA statistics and US DOE statistics. I don't watch any of the TV Politics (news) channels - each one has a slant that would cause a boat to sink. One Right, Two Left. The China pipeline will end up being built into the Puget Sound, regardless of what the US does. The tarsands oil will be used, regardless of what the US does. The author of the opinion piece seems to think that it will not be used if the pipeline in Michigan is not built. But the only impact of not building more pipelines in Michigan is higher pump prices locally for people who live here.


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Mr. Krueger - 1) Enbridge purchased most of these pipelines from other companies and/or acquired the companies. That does not excuse the lack of maintenance or inspection, but much of what you are complaining about happened before Enbridge was actually the owner of the pipelines. They stepped up inspection after purchase, but skill inspectors limit the amount of pipeline they can inspect. Training an inspector is a long term project. 2) Enbridge's overall safety record is better than the industry average, and they have Environment Canada looking over their shoulder, as well as the US regulators. The industry average needs to improve significantly. 3) If you want to blame anyone look at the Federal pipeline standards and inspections - they were gutted over 20 years ago. 4) Not building pipelines here will not stop the tarsands oil from being mined and used. If it does not come to the US, China is prepared to pay for pipelines to take it to Canada's west coast and then via ship to refineries there. 5) Gasoline prices in Michigan jumped (yes JUMPED) 25 cents yesterday because of pipeline restrictions in the midwest. So no new pipelines means you and I have a direct out of pocket cost. Oil prices hardly moved yesterday - by the way. 6) If we don't build new pipelines now, then in a few years when we have to retire the old ones, prices for gasoline, natural gas, and other fuels will jump even higher. The alternative is to truck them in from Illinois and Ohio (higher accident rate), Bring them in via train (also a higher accident/spill rate), Bring them in by tanker on the Great Lakes ( some people would have a cow if a lake tanker had a major spill) or go without. From the tone of your editorial, I suspect you think we can do without. Unfortunately I doubt most people in this state would be happy with no gasoline, no diesel fuel, no natural gas, and no heating oil. Building infrastructure now, lets us choose to retire old, worn out pipelines sooner.


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 6:41 p.m.

Sound like you're either on payroll or own a lot of Enbridge stock.