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Mackinaw Bridge, Michigan. Deb Nystrom / CC BY 2.0

Great Lakes Pipeline Dispute Highlights a Broader Energy Dilemma

By Douglas Bessette

A deal involving an aging oil pipeline in Michigan reflects the complex decisions communities across the country need to make to balance the needs for energy and safety with efforts to deal with climate change.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Enbridge, a Canadian company, have reached an agreement over a leak-prone pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac, the four-mile-long waterway that divides Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

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CBC Indigenous / Facebook screenshot

Enbridge Pipeline Explosion Forces First Nations Community to Flee

A 36-inch natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge exploded around 5:45 p.m. in rural land north of Prince George, British Columbia on Tuesday, the Canadian pipeline company said in a media release.

The blast forced 100 people to evacuate from the nearby Lheidli T'enneh First Nation as a precaution, Enbridge said.

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Energy
Straits of Mackinac, Mackinac Island. Jeff Lefevre / NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Lawsuit Could Shut Down Controversial Great Lakes Pipeline

Two environmental groups have filed suit against the U.S. Coast Guard in a Detroit federal district court, arguing that their plan to respond in the case of a Great Lakes pipeline oil spill is inadequate, The Detroit News reported on Aug. 22.

The suit is part of a larger push to shut down Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Huron and Michigan and comes as indigenous activists have set up camps protesting the line that could damage 400 miles of shoreline in a spill.

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Energy
The Straits of Mackinac, which protestors are worried could be damaged from in an oil spill from the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline that runs underneath. Michael Barera / CC BY-SA 4.0

Standing Rock Veterans Lead Fight to Shut Down Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline

A group of Standing Rock veterans and their allies have set up camp in Northern Michigan to stop another pipeline: Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline that passes under the Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Huron and Michigan as it carries oil from Western Canada to Ontario, Michigan Radio reported Sunday.

The protesters, about 15 in total, are concerned about the possible damage an oil spill from the pipeline could do to the Great Lakes and have vowed not to leave their camps until the pipeline is removed.

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Energy
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced construction of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline replacement project in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, Aug. 10, 2016. Marc Chalifoux / Epic Photography for the Government of Alberta, CC BY-ND 2.0

How Enbridge Helped Write Minnesota Pipeline Laws, Aiding Its Line 3 Battle Today

By Logan Carroll

The Minnesota section of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline accounts for nearly 300 miles of the longest crude oil transport system in the world, and it is failing. The multi-billion-dollar transnational corporation has applied for a permit to replace it. Opposition from tribes in the region and environmental groups is slowing the project, but the process at times appears so tilted in Enbridge's favor that, watching the court battles and utility commission meetings, it almost feels like Enbridge wrote the rules.

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Climate activists Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein shut down Enbridge's tar sands pipelines 4 and 67 in Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2016. Climate Direct Action

Activists May Argue Pipeline Shutdown Was Necessary Due to Climate Change, Court Rules

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday that four climate activists facing criminal charges may use an unusual "necessity defense" over their efforts to shut down a pair of tar sands pipelines owned by Enbridge Energy.

"Valve turners" Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein were charged after shutting off the emergency valves on the two pipelines in October 2016. Johnston and Klapstein, and the two defendants who filmed them, argue their actions to stop the flow of the polluting bitumen were justified due to the threat of climate change.

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Climate Disobedience Center / Twitter

Boston Judge Acquits 13 Pipeline Protesters in Groundbreaking Decision

A Boston judge on Tuesday sided with 13 climate activists who were arrested for protesting the West Roxbury Mass Lateral Pipeline.

Judge Mary Ann Driscoll of West Roxbury District Court decided it was necessary for the protestors to engage in civil disobedience to block the construction of Spectra Energy's high-pressure fracked gas pipeline and acquitted the activists of civil infractions, according to media reports.

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Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Canadian portion of the project not long after Donald Trump took the White House. Marc Chalifoux / Epic Photography for the Government of Alberta / Flickr

Enbridge Dealt New Setback After Judge Pushes Back Decision on Line 3 Pipeline

Environmentalists are cheering after an administrative law judge delayed approval of Enbridge Energy's controversial Line 3 replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota.

The decision from Judge Ann O'Reilly comes after state regulators deemed the environmental impact statement for the proposed multibillion-dollar project as “ inadequate" and directed revisions on the document.

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The Mackinac bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac. Julie Falk / Flickr

Environmental Groups Blast Michigan Officials for 'Trust' in Pipeline Operator

Environmental groups are attacking an agreement between Michigan and Canadian oil transport company Enbridge, Inc. that set a timeline to determine the future of a controversial pipeline running across a channel where Lakes Huron and Michigan come together.

The 645-mile pipeline, Line 5, lies at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile-long environmentally sensitive stretch of water that serves as a center piece in Michigan's tourist industry. It cuts through the state as it runs from western to eastern Canada, bringing 23 million gallons of oil and liquid natural gas across the straits between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas—an area noted for its choppy waters, unpredictable currents and subzero temperatures.

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