Michigan's Attorney General joins the pipeline closure drum corps.
You can say one thing about Attorney General Bill Schuette, he has had a lot of different jobs.
The latest is apparently environmental expert and mechanical engineer. Acting like those cats in the disaster movies who always seem to have the correct and dire warnings that “something really bad is about to happen,” Schuette has now called for the end to line five. From the Detroit News:
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on Thursday called for the development of a “specific and definite timetable” to close Enbridge Energy Inc.’s Line 5 dual pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.
Schuette’s comments came as his office, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Natural Resources and Agency for Energy released a long-awaited Line 5 alternatives assessment conducted by an independent contractor.
The 337-page report states the 64-year-old Line 5 could operate indefinitely, but Schuette said he “strongly” disagreed. One viable alternative, he said, would be to construct a tunnel under the straits that could serve a similar function but allow for continuous visual inspection while creating infrastructure and construction jobs.
I suppose we could add “Tunnel Builder” to the resume as well?
In the last several years there has been a build up of sentiment that the oil/gas pipeline which essentially serves Canada, is dangerous enough to warrant discontinuing service. Never mind the fact that road and rail transport of such commodities would necessarily pick up the slack. Comparisons have even been made multiple times, with pipeline service showing itself to be historically safer.
Of course, Enbridge has had a problem in the past.
It’s past safety practices have not inspired confidence. The picture to the right shows the result of the result of a burst pipeline in a tributary of the Kalamazoo river. Fortunately there was a dam in place, and the material effect was relatively limited though still a disaster by any standard, requiring a couple years of clean up.
But this particular disaster has prompted many suggested changes in the way these pipes are handled and maintained. Hardened regulatory regimens are not at all inappropriate under these circumstances. Who could argue against them? Schuette (the diplomat enforcer) had already made sure that no heavy crude would sail those waters.
But is total abandonment of line 5 necessary? Perhaps the bigger question should be: “Does Bill Schuette want 2512 more oil Tanker Trucks on Michigan roads daily?”
No doubt that Bill Schuette, in the midst of his other numerous duties as Michigan’s Attorney General, has completely researched the issue, and has ignored the political scales in search of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
So help us God.