Cliff Attends His First Meeting With The Pipeline Task Force

On Monday March 13th Julie and I hopped in the car, drove to Lansing and attended an open meeting held by the Pipeline Task Force.

First, I am happy to report that in spite of it being a Monday afternoon on a cold, snowy day in Michigan, the place was packed. Sliders were pulled back to make two rooms into one because the room in which the meeting was scheduled was at capacity. The second room was Standing Room Only before the meeting was underway. In addition,  there were people with signs out in the parking lot and along the road (Saginaw in West Lansing - out by Horrocks.)
That put a smile on my face. There were people from all over the State, including the UP. There were kids, parents and grand-parents. Made my heart glad.

The only downside that comes to mind was that there could have been a bit more diversity in the crowd. While the Indians of Michigan were WELL represented, the bulk of the rest of the people there were white. Frankly, I do not get this - brown, yellow, black, white, red - and all the wonderful combinations which occur when we mix it up - ALL OF US NEED FRESH WATER TO LIVE!
The Great Lakes are not an issue for Indians and white people. The potential disaster presented by Pipeline 5 will ruin the drinking water for millions of people of every color in about 5 states and Canada. None of us can do more than a couple of days without water.

As one of the Indians ladies so wonderfully put it: First, she asked who in the room had a mom. Naturally we all raised our hands. She then explained how babies grow and develop in the water in their mom's bellies - that is why Indian women are given the task of water protectors. Water is sacred. Water is life - ALL LIFE.

If ever there was an issue in Michigan that should unite ALL of us, it should be the matter of preserving and protecting the fresh water in the Great Lakes.

Okay - here are my Meeting Highlights:

1. I will start with the LOWS! The guy from Enbridge Oil who spoke first was tragically comic. God bless him - he was doing his job. He was sent there to assure that the only problem is that there is no problem with Pipeline 5, so why make all the fuss? It was like listening to Clinton deal with Lewinsky. In a way, it is incredibly sad - I cannot for a minute believe this guy believed any of the manure he was spreading. He had some support from a couple of other shills for the gas/oil industry - one guy even went so far as to state, "Pipelines can be used indefinitely."

2. Then we got to hear from the opponents of #5. One lady, whom I believe was a lawyer - she presented her case like a lawyer - pointed out that the State has granted Enbridge an Easement to operate #5. She then cited several points which demonstrated that Enbridge was in violation of that Easement and so it should be terminated and the pipeline turned off. These included the fact that the pipeline has not been maintained, there are parts of it with no support, etc etc.

3. The KILLER high point was a retired chemist (I believe he has his Doctorate) who had submitted a report to the members of the Board and reviewed his papers. His ace in the hole was when he announced that in his investigation he found a document from 1991 in which Enbridge Oil people wrote: "repairs to Line 5 cannot wait because of the long spans of pipe with no support." Hear it for yourself around the 1 hour 8 minute mark in the video I will link to below. The Dr has glasses and a pony tail.

4. A grandfather and his grandson (Indians) presented themselves to speak with brown oil smeared on their bared torsos. Grandpa related that he served his country IN A SUBMARINE and was not afraid of much, but he was in fear of pipeline #5.

5. There were many others who spoke wisely in favor to shutting it down, but the killer punch was delivered in 3 minutes by a gentleman who challenged the Board members to act with courage. Then he added the element of fear with words to this effect: If you keep the oil flowing and the pipeline leaks you will be held accountable, your emails will be made public, some or all of you will got to jail like the people involved in the Flint water crisis lately. He then asked them to be bold and said, "What do you have to be afraid of? You are all white." The crowd erupted. It was perfect - and he delivered his message with an even tone and gentle delivery - which made it POP all the more.

Here is a link to a video shot by a friend of mine, Erin Fox, if you want to watch and listen for yourself: Green Party Video

In case you have never seen the National Wildlife Foundation video that alerted me to the pipeline in 2013, you can watch it here: NWF Video Of Pipeline 5

Lastly, if you missed the meeting, you still have a chance to speak your mind about Pipeline #5 to the members of the Board. They have a comment page on their website - click below:

You can also sign up to receive email updates concerning oil pipelines in Michigan. I would encourage you to do this if for no other reason than to let 
Lansing know we are watching and paying attention:

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