Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered a Canadian energy company to stop the operation of an oil and gas pipeline running across the Straits of Mackinac. She had claimed that the said pipeline is a “ticking timebomb” despite the energy company saying that it never leaked into the straits.
According to a report by The Guardian, Whitmer pushed for the Canadian energy company Enbridge to stop the operation of the Line 5 pipeline by Wednesday. The governor told them to do so due to the fear that it could leak at any time. The said pipeline has been in operation for 67 years. As per Enbridge, the part of the said line that goes through the said straits never leaked. Although, a different Enbridge pipeline did spill 845,000 gallons of oil back in 2010 into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.
Additionally, the said energy company has been working on tunneling under the lake bed. This can improve the safety of the line even further. Enbridge has started taking these steps as boat anchors and cables have hit the pipeline in the past two years.
Whitmer Calls Pipeline a “Ticking Timebomb”
Whitmer said that the said oil pipelines “are a ticking timebomb,” in a statement. She said it violated the public trust and endangered the environment.
Whitmer has previously campaigned for the closure of this pipeline. Now, she is still doing so, even with the Department of Transportation’s emergency declaration for 17 states as well as the District of Columbia. It issued the said declaration following a cyberattack that targeted the nation’s largest pipeline. The said declaration allowed fuel to be brought by road to the states affected.
The ransomware attack that caused the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline has been “the most significant and successful attack” on any of the country’s energy infrastructure. It mostly affected a few of the energy company’s office computer systems, not necessarily those that run the pipelines themselves. The shutdown serves as a precautionary measure while a third-party cybersecurity agency conducts an investigation.
Apart from the Transportation Department’s declaration, the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia also released emergency declarations due to gas shortages. This comes after over 1,000 gas stations ran out of fuel on Tuesday.