Pipeline 5

Flowing through the heart of the Great Lakes, Line 5 poses an imminent threat to 20% of the world's fresh water, and Enbridge Energy’s fight to keep the pipeline operating now threatens the rights of States and the sovereignty of Indigenous nations.

America's Most Dangerous Pipeline: The Problems

Line 5 poses unacceptable risks of a catastrophic oil spill to the Great Lakes as it travels through the open waters of the Straits of Mackinac, across its active trespass on the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation, and through the states of Wisconsin and Michigan. Because of its condition, the many alarming locations of the pipeline, and Enbridge’s legal attacks to keep the pipeline operating, Line 5 has been named, "America's Most Dangerous Pipeline."

First constructed over 70 years ago, Line 5 is part of Enbridge’s Lakehead System, a network of aging pipelines in the Great Lakes region that transports mostly Canadian crude oil and natural gas liquids east to Sarnia, Ontario, using the Great Lakes and the U.S. as a shortcut.

Line 5 pipeline poses an immediate threat to businesses, our economy and way of life, and to the rights of all citizens. Studies have shown that spill at the Mackinac Straits could damage up to 900 miles of shoreline, impacting everything from fishing to shipping to tourism.

Line 5 poses imminent risk to the Great Lakes

Line 5 is vulnerable to many threats, including anchor strikes from passing ships, climate change causing more severe weather, flooding, and erosion. The company that operates Line 5, Enbridge, also has a history of spills that have devastated U.S. waterways.

The Alternatives

Thanks to a recent study by PLG, we know a range of commercially feasible and operationally viable solutions exist for alternative crude and NGL supply chains in the event of a Line 5 shutdown.

PLG reports that “energy markets will adapt - as they have always done and continue to do…With advance notice, the markets can be expected to do so without supply shortages or price spikes.”

This study and others in similar nature, have gone ignored by Enbridge as they continue to fight for an unprecedented pipeline tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac to replace the existing pipelines on the lake bed and a reroute expansion around the Bad River Band reservation, which is part of the watershed protected by Treaty rights. Enbridge’s proposed expansions are not being properly vetted by governing agencies, and both proposals create new risks and harm.

The Great Lakes are too important to leave up to chance. For many years, business owners, concerned citizens, policy makers, and Indigenous People have called for a shutdown of Line 5.

Holding Decision Makers Accountable

The Great Lakes region has many fearless leaders working tirelessly to shut down Line 5. What they need now is support from President Biden. Biden’s administration could weigh in on the future of the most dangerous, outdated, and unnecessary oil pipeline in the country. With his executive authority the president has the right to decommission Line 5, acting quickly and efficiently to decommission the pipeline.

Take action by contacting President Biden to support support the orderly shutdown of Line 5!

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