Line 5 too dangerous to continue

To the Journal editor:

In (a recent) Mining Journal I read that Howard “Skip” Elliott, chief of Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, said the agency believes Enbridge Line 5 is less likely to fail than another Enbridge line that spilled around 1 million gallons of oil in southern Michigan in 2010.

Well, I’m sorry but that’s not good enough to meet the legal standard of what’s expected of a trustee. And in addition to the fact a spill from Line 5 will contaminate the drinking water supply that 40 million people depend on, our government agencies are trustees for all of the other natural resources that are at risk here.

It’s also a fact that Enbridge doesn’t have the financial ability to pay for the cost of oil spill clean up, an alternate drinking water supply and the damages to the natural resources for which all Great Lakes states and the Federal government are trustees. Given statements like the one Skip made I would submit that our trustees have now admitted that they have committed a breach of trust by allowing Line 5 to continue operating.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters held a hearing on the Enbridge Line 5 issue in Traverse City (recently). I believe that the need for discussion is now over. Members of Congress are lawmakers. It’s time to pass a law prohibiting pipeline transportation of oil across the Great lakes.

The state of Michigan has gone far past foot dragging in these regards; they’ve clearly demonstrated they are nothing more than handmaidens to this oil company. And that’s not a bold statement given the fact that Gov. Rick Snyder asked for and received a risk analysis that says the risk is both substantial and unnecessary.

I won’t vote for any lawmaker that hasn’t introduced legislation giving Enbridge 1 year from the date of enactment to replace Line 5 or shut it down and remove it. We have the technology and ability to conduct ultra extended reach drilling and install pipelines far below the bottom of the Straits of Mackinaw and thereby eliminating the risk of an oil spill.

It is time to tell these politicians to eliminate the risk or you won’t get our vote!

Jeffery Loman

L’Anse Indian Reservation