Every day, nearly 23 million gallons of oil flow through two aging pipelines in the heart of the Great Lakes. The Enbridge Line 5 pipeline carries crude oil and natural gas liquids 645 miles from Superior, Wisconsin, through Michigan's upper peninsula. When it reaches St. Ignace, it makes a shortcut through the Great Lakes at the Straits of Mackinac. Back on land on the south side of the Straits, it continues through Michigan's lower peninsula, across the St. Clair River and into Sarnia, Canada.
The threat posed to the Great Lakes by this pipeline is well documented by the Oil & Water Don't Mix campaign. Not only does a potential oil spill threaten Michigan's Great Lakes treasures, when the oil makes its way down the pipe to refineries and is turned into gasoline, the burning of that fuel creates a carbon spill into the atmosphere.
Pipelines are federally regulated. This pipeline is unique in that Line 5's Canadian owner, Enbridge, also holds an easement for the use of the Great Lakes bottomlands. This contract is subject to certain provisions that are regulated by the State of Michigan. The residents of Michigan have influence over our representatives. They need to hear that the climate threat posed by this oil will also inflict damage in the form of climate change.
Moving to a renewable energy economy and electrifying transportation - two MICAN campaigns - would reduce the demand for the oil that threatens our Great Lakes. When the benefit to the climate is added to the equation, shutting down Line 5 makes even more sense.