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Environmentalists call on Canada to support the shutdown of Line 5

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Environmental groups are demanding Canada stop opposing the shutdown of Enbridge Energy’s Line 5.

The group Oil and Water Don’t Mix and its supporters are calling on the government of Canada to go along with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order to shut down the pipeline.

“It is past time for Canadian officials to join their neighbors in Michigan and act to protect the Great Lakes in our climate instead of advancing Enbridge's fossil fuel agenda,” said Christy McGillivray with the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Government officials in Canada officials have said Line 5 is important to the country’s energy needs.

Whitmer ordered Enbridge Energy to shutdown Line 5 in May, an order which has been ignored by the Canadian pipeline company while it challenges it in U.S. federal court.

Environmentalists believe the 68-year-old oil and natural gas liquids pipeline which sits on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lakes Michigan and Huron, is a threat to the environment of the lakes and the economy of Michigan communities on the lakes.

The group Oil and Water Don't Mix sent Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau some water from the Straits as a reminder that Canada shares responsibility for safeguarding the lakes.

“Today, we call on Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to work with Michigan's governor and the Biden administration on a decommissioning plan for Line 5,” said Jamie Simmons with Michigan Climate Action Network, one of the speakers at a protest in Detroit.

The government of Canada has not responded to a request for comment.

Enbridge Energy responded that Line 5 is a "critical piece of North American energy infrastructure that benefits both Canada and the U.S."

Editor's note: Enbridge Energy is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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