“This is not a threat to Canada’s national economic or energy security,” Kristen Hillman told CBC News Network. Power and politics Thursday. “I think this is a significant dispute or disagreement that exists between Enbridge and the State of Michigan that needs to be taken very seriously. And we take it very seriously. “
Line 5, which crosses Michigan from the town of Superior in Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario, crosses the Great Lakes under the ecologically sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.
The pipeline transports oil to eastern western Canada. Once in Ontario, most of the crude oil is transformed into fuels that meet almost 50% of the province’s fuel demand. The rest of the supply is routed to refineries in Quebec through Line 9, where it supplies 40 to 50%. 100 of the fuel supply in this province.
WATCH | Hillman on the importance of line 5:
The threat to the pipeline’s viability began in November when Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer revoked the 1953 easement – which allowed the pipeline to operate without incident for more than 65 years – over fear of an oil spill.
Enbridge was granted permission to replace the submarine line with a tunnel, but Whitmer’s election in 2019 put an end to those plans.
The notification that the easement was removed said the pipeline is expected to be closed by May 12, raising concerns on both sides of the border over a shortage of essential fuels.
“One of the governor’s top priorities is to protect and defend the Great Lakes, which are vital to Michigan’s economy. The Great Lakes… 350,000 jobs in Michigan. We cannot risk the devastating effects on the economy, environment and public health of a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes, ”said Whitmer spokeswoman Chelsea Lewis-Parisio.
Enbridge sued Michigan in U.S. federal court over the dispute, and both sides were ordered to find a solution through mediation last month.
Hillman says finding a compromise between Enbridge and the state of Michigan is the only way to resolve the stalemate. She said she remains optimistic that despite the firm date in the notice, oil will continue to flow, at least in the short term.
“We understand from the advice we have received that there is a good chance that the pipeline… will continue to function during litigation and mediation,” she told guest host David Common.
Fuel for Pearson
All kerosene produced at Pearson International Airport in Toronto is made with crude supplied by the pipeline. Enbridge, which owns Line 5, says Ontario’s fuel supply would be cut in half if the pipeline were closed. But its closure would not only affect Quebec and Ontario.
Enbridge says closing the pipeline would also hurt Michigan, which derives 55% of its propane needs from the more than 540,000 barrels of light crude oil, light synthetic crude and natural gas liquids that pass through Line 5 before be refined into propane in the state.
Enbridge Senior Vice President Mike Fernandez said he is also confident the pipeline will continue to operate beyond May 12, but the passing of the deadline will likely spark protests from activists anti-pipeline.
“The reason I say this is that the case is currently in a US Federal District court which has prompted both parties, i.e. the state and Enbridge, to work through d ‘a mediator,’ Fernandez told Common.
“If the state were to act, it would be acting outside the standard of good faith that is normally required in such mediation. “
WATCH | Fernandez by the May 12 deadline:
The Conservative opposition has severely criticized the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying its inaction on the energy file will cause the pipeline to shut down.
The Tories have accused the murder of another pipeline, Keystone XL, by the administration of US President Joe Biden as proof that the Trudeau government did not fight hard enough to keep him alive.
The party has secured an emergency debate in the House of Commons to discuss the issue, which takes place tonight.
“Line 5 is not a new project, it is not a diversification, it is a line that has been a constant and essential supply to Canada for decades,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole told bedroom. “Now, because of the Liberal government’s inaction, this essential piece of energy infrastructure is in jeopardy.
Green MP Elizabeth May told O’Toole that the people of Michigan are keen to shut down Line 5 due to the Kalamazoo River oil spill in July 2010, when an Enbridge pipeline burst.
“It’s about pipeline pollution… we need to find an alternative to bring these products to market and allow the Michigan government to keep its election promise to protect the Great Lakes,” said May.
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan has dismissed the Conservatives’ attacks, saying accusations that the Liberals have failed to act and are prepared to let the pipeline die are completely false.
“You can’t solve this problem with false bravado, hitting your chest while sticking your head in the sand like the members so often do, calling people who don’t agree with you” brain dead, “” said O’Regan, referring to the insult to the governor of Michigan by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
“This explosive approach is doing our oil and gas workers a huge disservice and does nothing to advance their cause. “
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