The ongoing war with the State of Michigan is heating up. Canada’s federal government has now invoked a 1977 treaty that supposedly says that Canada can destroy the fresh water viability of the Great Lakes if it is in aid of ensuring self-sufficiency in oil to both countries. What we really need to do is resolve this matter before American tanks start rumbling across the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Ontario.
And the entire imbroglio is regarding the status of Enbridge’s Line 5 from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario. The general on the American side is Michigan governor, Gretchen Witmer. The Canadian contingent is led by Calgary’s Enbridge pipeline people.
It started when the Michigan governor realized that the same material that caused a major catastrophe on tributaries of the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan was being piped under Lake Michigan at the Straits of Mackinac. This is a particularly sensitive area where Lake Michigan flows into Lake Huron and down through the Great Lakes.
The culprit in this case is diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands. From where Line 5 crosses Lake Michigan, it delivers the diluted bitumen to Detroit as well as Canadian refineries. It was close to a million gallons of Albertan diluted bitumen that destroyed the fishing on the Kalamazoo River for years to come. After spending close to a billion US dollars in the clean-up attempt, there is still bitumen polluting the Kalamazoo River.
And nobody needs to be a scientist to guess what would happen if there was a major spill in the Straits of Mackinac. It is not just the fisheries on the lower Great Lakes but the fresh water for millions of Americans and Canadians that would be at risk.
The fact that Enbridge has already acknowledged the danger is made clear in its current construction of a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac to eliminate concerns for any spills. They really need a compromise by ensuring that no bitumen be allowed to flow through the current pipeline. And it might just end the war.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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