The truth is that blogs get as much attention as just another mosquito in the wildness of Ontario. No matter what the readership numbers, you never seem to reach the readers who can do something. They are too busy to read blogs. And after all, it is just one person’s opinion.
And it is all the fault of those idiots out in Alberta who want to call diluted bitumen ‘oil.’ They are putting diluted bitumen through Enbridge’s Line 5 and calling it oil. That seems to be fine with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Her response is to order the shutdown of Line 5 where it crosses the Straits of Mackinac—the point where Lake Michigan flows into Lake Huron.
Governor Whitmer’s only experience with a pipeline burst is ten years ago when another Enbridge pipeline spilled diluted bitumen into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River in south Michigan. And even after spending close to a billion U.S. dollars plus millions in fines, Enbridge was unable to complete the clean-up. Bitumen in water is almost impossible to clean-up.
If a lake cargo ship dragged anchor through the shallow water at Mackinac, it would be guaranteed to collect a piece of pipeline in the process. If the line was carrying butane gas at the time, it would be the equivalent of our Canadian cows passing gas. It could also be equivalent to a month or so more of or even a year’s emissions from thousands of gas burning cars.
If the line was carrying refined real crude oil or gasoline, the released oil products would float and fast action could contain it. It could be cleaned up.
But if the line was carrying diluted bitumen at the time and the pipeline kept pumping long enough, the diluted bitumen would keep polluting even as it went over Niagara Falls. It could destroy the major source of fresh water for about 40 million Americans and Canadians as it made its way through the Great Lakes.
What the governor of Michigan needs to do is simply forbid the transmission of diluted bitumen through the pipeline. Anything else can be cleaned up.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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