Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) has ordered a Canadian energy company to shut down an oil and gas pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac, claiming the pipeline is a “ticking timebomb” even though the company says the line has never leaked into the straits.
The Guardian reported that Whitmer told the Canadian company, Enbridge, to shut down the pipeline known as Line 5 by Wednesday due to activist fears that it could spill any day. The pipeline has operated for nearly 67 years and, according to Enbridge, the portion of the pipeline that runs through the straights has never leaked. A different Enbridge pipeline spilled 845,000 gallons of oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River back in 2010.
Further, Enbridge has been “working to tunnel beneath the lake bed to further improve the safety of the pipeline,” the Guardian reported, because the pipeline has been hit in the past two years by boat anchors and cables.
“These oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac are a ticking timebomb, and their continued presence violates the public trust and poses a grave threat to Michigan’s environment and economy,” Whitmer’s office said in a statement regarding the pipeline.
The Guardian reported that Whitmer campaigned on shutting down this pipeline and is now pushing for its closure even as the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency declaration for 17 states and the District of Columbia following a cyberattack on the country’s largest pipeline.
As The Daily Wire’s Hank Berrien reported, the “declaration permitted fuel to be transported by road to Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.”
An expert told Politico that the ransomware attack that caused the Colonial Pipeline to shut down was “the most significant and successful attack on energy infrastructure we know of in the United States.” The attack “most immediately affected some of the company’s business-side computer systems — not the systems that directly run the pipelines themselves,” Politico reported, yet Colonial shut down the pipelines as a precaution while a third-party cybersecurity firm investigates.
In addition to the Department of Transportation’s declarations, four states – Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia – have issued emergency declarations over gas shortages, The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported. In addition, more than 1,000 gas stations ran out of fuel on Tuesday, The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reported.
“On social media, multiple videos went viral of people showing that their gas stations were out of fuel in states including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and others. Some analysts said that panic buying could be playing a role in gas stations running out of fuel,” Saavedra wrote. “Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm warned that gas stations in the impacted regions of the country will likely continue to experience a ‘supply crunch’ even after the pipelines are fully operational again.”
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall insisted there was “not a supply shortage.”
This article has been revised for clarity and corrected to note the segment of Pipeline 5 that Enbridge says has never leaked.