Letter to the editor

The Detroit News published an ostentatiously pro-Enbridge column calling out Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for standing firm against Enbridge’s Line 5 agenda.

What the author neglected to mention is Enbridge’s deplorable track record of disinformation campaigns, reckless endangerment of public lands and waterways and other sociopathic behavior. Allow me to fill in the gaps in the Detroit News’ reporting.

A debate about Line 5 is grossly incomplete without referencing another of Enbridge’s infamous pipelines: Line 3 in Minnesota. Line 3 is set to carry over half a million barrels of tar sands oil every day from Canada through Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is located on indigenous tribal lands that belong to them by treaty with the United States government.

Enbridge’s pipeline there is trespassing on property that belongs to neither a U.S. state nor the federal government. That didn’t stop Enbridge from reimbursing more than $2.4 million in personnel costs for Minnesota police officers after Enbridge enticed those officers to arrest, surveil and brutalize more than 900 indigenous water protectors, many of whom are the rightful owners of the land.

Enbridge’s history is one of open defiance of our legal system and judicial processes. They have taken every advantage they could from the limbo phases between their perpetual reckless actions and the judicial rulings against them to build their pipelines unlawfully. What’s mind-boggling about Enbridge’s unfettered greed is that profits from tar sands extraction have been dwindling for years and tar sands commodities are now said to be economically unprofitable.

Another Enbridge pipeline in Michigan failed in 2010 and dumped more than 1 million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. According to oilandwaterdontmix.org, “Despite assurances that they could detect a leak ‘almost instantaneously’, Enbridge initially misdiagnosed the massive spill into the Kalamazoo River, restarting pumps twice and allowing 17 hours to lapse before final shutdown. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency compared their poor handling of the disaster to the bumbling of the ‘Keystone Kops’.” The website goes on to explain that Enbridge has been “responsible for more than one oil spill every week for the last 15 years.”

President Joe Biden, along with the Minnesota and Michigan state legislatures, must resolve to put America first, uphold indigenous treaty rights, and protect the longevity of our young people’s lives. Enbridge is dirtier than the oil it funnels through its dangerous Line 3 and Line 5 pipelines. We must not allow Enbridge to continue getting away scot-free with corrupting our waters and our democracy.

Theresa Rathwell


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