Oil and Tar Sand Pipeline Under Lakes Michigan & Huron
A few days ago a friend of mine who used to live in Michigan drew my attention to the video below from the National Wildlife Foundation. They took a camera into the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron, to show the condition of a 60 year old pipeline that carries MILLIONS of gallons of tar sands and oil every day.
I must admit I was unaware such a pipeline existed. When I saw the condition of the pipes, I could barely sleep for the next couple of nights. There are areas of the pipeline that are not even on the bottom of the Lake - it is "suspended". Please take a minute to look at the video - the shots of the pipeline start at the 3:00 minute mark.
What kept me awake was knowing the condition of the pipeline and it's placement and the knowledge that the pipeline is owned and operated by Enbridge - the same company that recently polluted the Kalamazoo River with a similar pipeline. LEARN ABOUT KALAMAZOO RIVER.
It would seem to me that anyone who lives in the Great Lakes Region would be concerned about this, no matter what your political stripe. WE ALL DRINK WATER.
This graphic above is a map estimating the spread of oil in 3, 6, and 9 hours based on a break in the pipe factoring in the normal conditions of wind and current, Enbridge response plans and a "worse case" scenario of a break. (Made me wonder what might happen if a storm was raging - if you have ever seen the Straits during a howling storm, then you know what I am talking about.)
We need to remember that Lakes Michigan and Huron are THE PRIMARY FRESH water source for millions of people from the East side of Michigan (read: Metro Detroit) all the way west to a little burg by the name of Chicago. Never mind the damage to the fishing industry, recreational boating, all manner of aquatic life - to say nothing of hundreds of miles of some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.
The NWF has an article about possible impact here: TAR SANDS TIME BOMB
What can we do?
Well, there is a petition to encourage Governor Snyder to order Enbridge to address concerns over the condition of the pipeline here: KEEP OIL OUT OF OUR WATER
As of right now I am working on finding the most effect person or agency to bug about this. I am following some leads from people in the DEQ. I have also learned that former Governor Blanchard is on the Board of Directors for Enbridge - I have sent him an email and am waiting to hear back.
In the meantime, you can get involved in any number of ways. The NWF has a Great Lakes Regional Center in Michigan that has been trying to draw attention to the pipeline. You can join their efforts on their FaceBook page: GREAT LAKES REGIONAL CENTER.
Email Senators Stabenow and Levin. Raise a RUCKUS. Do something - tell your friends about the petition.