Protests in Mackinaw City persist as Enbridge continues to use Line 5
Demonstrators continue to protest Line 5 in Mackinaw City on Thursday.
It comes as Enbridge Energy continues to operate the oil and gas pipeline, a day after Governor Whitmer ordered it to be shut down.
Anishinaabe Tribal members led a two mile march this morning from Mackinaw City to McGulpin Point, where Enbridge has a pumping station.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered around a barbed wire fence and posted a symbolic eviction notice.
Sean Mcbrearty from the environmental group Oil and Water Don’t Mix, read from the notice.
“Concerned citizens of Michigan direct Enbridge, a foreign oil company, to immediately abandon operating Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.”
Meanwhile, State Representative John Roth from Traverse City calls Gov. Whitmer’s attempts to shut down Line 5 the wrong move. He said doing so would have a negative impact on jobs and resources throughout the state.
“It was clear from the hearing and it’s clear from people I talk to in northern Michigan that a lot of people count on this pipeline,” said Roth. “Taking the pipeline offline isn’t the answer. Putting hundreds more trucks on our roads to account for not having the pipeline isn’t the answer either.”
Beth Wallace disagrees. She’s a demonstrator from Battle Creek.
That’s near the site of a 2010 Enbridge oil spill, which pumped about a million gallons of crude in the Kalamazoo River.
“The river was closed down for years – no one could even touch that river,” she recalled. “If you can imagine that happening here, I mean, it’d destroy our economy immediately (and) for years to come.”
Enbridge Energy says they will continue to run the pipeline for now.