New Report: Enbridge Lacks Full Insurance to Cover Great Lakes Oil Spill, Violating Easement

Michigan citizens could be on the hook for Line 5 oil spill in Straits of Mackinac

ANN ARBOR – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released a report yesterday documenting how Enbridge Energy – the Canadian company operating twin oil pipelines that cut across the Straits of Mackinac – lacks proper insurance coverage for an oil spill from Line 5 into the Great Lakes.

Lacking proper insurance to cover the potential vast environmental and economic damage from an oil spill in the lakes – Enbridge’s oil disaster in 2010 that contaminated more than 38 miles of the Kalamazoo River cost more than $1.5 billion to clean up – would be a violation of the company’s easement that allows it to operate a pipeline in the Straits.

“The state’s bombshell report is yet another reminder that Enbridge cannot be trusted with the health of the Great Lakes,” said Beth Wallace, Great Lakes partnerships manager with the National Wildlife Federation. “Enbridge bears responsibility for the oil disaster that trashed the Kalamazoo River, and the company’s oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac pose an immediate risk to the Great Lakes, our economy, and our way of life. Michigan’s public officials need to remove these risky oil pipelines from the Great Lakes as soon as possible. We encourage the governor to take action and revoke the easement to these risky oil pipelines. How many times does this company need to violate our trust and the terms of our legal agreements before we say enough is enough?”

Enbridge has a long track record of oil spills, leaks, accidents, explosions, and environmental damage. It has paid more than $187 million in penalties and settlements due to 58 environmental and business practice violations. There have already been 33 spills from the land-based segments of the Line 5 pipeline, not to mention a million gallons of oil gushed into the Kalamazoo River.

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