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?
Meanwhile, Attorney General Schuette completed a binding legal agreement with Enbridge to prevent Enbridge Pipeline 5 from being used to transport ‘heavy crude oil’ under the Straits of Mackinac. This agreement formally implements the first recommendation of the Michigan DEQ Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report released in July to ban heavy crude oil in Line 5. Sounds good, but Enbridge Pipeline 5 does not now have the pumping horsepower for heavy crude transmission, and the weight of the crude has very little to do with pipeline integrity. Corrosive constituents in the crude, biofouling, and a host of other technical issues are far more important determinants of pipeline integrity. This agreement has great optics, but little consequence.