Ontario Saskatchewan Alberta unites to urge Michigan not to close Line 5

The closure of the Washington-Line 5 pipeline will create a “dangerous precedent” that will forever jeopardize future cross-border infrastructure projects between Canada and the United States, says Alberta’s Energy Minister.

Sonia Savage joined the Saskatchewan and Ontario counterparts on Tuesday to warn the House of Commons Commission about possible knock-on effects if cross-border pipelines were closed.

“As is the case for everyone here, perhaps the most worrying thing for Alberta is the dangerous precedent that shutting down a safe pipeline will bring to future infrastructure projects,” Savage said. I testified.

“We are good neighbors and strong business partners. Our integrated energy sector and important trade relations are important to employment and the economy on both sides of the border, and the action to close Line 5 is that. It will threaten the relationship. “

Route 5, which runs through Michigan from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario, crosses the Great Lakes under the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Experts have told the Commission for weeks that the pipeline is an important source of energy not only for Ontario and Quebec, but also for many states in the northern United States, including Michigan itself, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. I’ve been.

Embridge wants to build a tunnel under the strait to accommodate an upgraded version of the dual pipeline, a project already approved by Michigan, but in the meantime, the existing line will continue to operate. is needed.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer revoked the easement in 1953, allowed the pipeline to operate successfully for over 65 years, and accused Enbridge of violating the terms of the contract. She wants to shut down the line by mid-May.

Embridge is fighting that decision in a Michigan court. Bronwin Air, Minister of Energy of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan and Bill Walker, Minister of Energy of Ontario, want Ottawa to take part in the fight.

“This could include submitting an Amikas brief to court expressing government support to keep the pipeline operating,” Walker told the committee.

A senior federal official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal issues, stating that the submission of such briefs is currently under discussion, but no final decision has been made.

Witnesses also urged the federal government to exercise its rights under the 1977 Transit Pipeline Agreement. This is a treaty between Canada and the United States that regulates the uninterrupted flow of energy between the two countries.

The Embridge main line, and thus Line 5, carries 70% of the crude oil produced in Saskatchewan to the market, Eyre said.

Line 5 “is a sign of welded steel, a concrete symbol of the traditionally strong relationship, friendship between the United States and Canada. We must not endanger it,” she said. It was.

“Pipelines do not produce CO2. Pipelines are just a means of transportation, but they are a symbol of the battle (for climate change).”

Mike Bradley, Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario’s main refining hub and final turning point on Line 5, could barely suppress his frustration with Whitmer, who said he did not respond to repeated appeals.

“I wrote to the governor more letters than St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,” he said, saying that the Consulate General of Canada in Detroit and Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, had the same experience.

“I don’t understand what’s happening in Lansing’s Governor’s mansion … Does the Governor understand the damage (she’s doing) to the ongoing relationship?”

In a letter to Whitmer earlier this year, Embridge accused Michigan of refusing to admit that state experts said there was no clear alternative to the pipeline.

The state does not allow Line 5 to enable the safe transportation of fuels essential for home heating and to provide energy to Michigan, the neighboring US states, and the two largest states in Canada. “Venbridge’s Vice President Vern Yu writes.

“It also cannot explain the significant social and economic consequences of closure.”

Sarnia’s union leader Scott Archer has provided a complete inventory of what their implications would be if Line 5 were closed.

Archer has an imminent shortage of gasoline, “significant” increases in fuel costs, 800 oil-laden railcars and 2,000 tank trucks per day on railroads and highways in both Central Canada and the Midwestern United States. Warned about. There are various industries, many of which are only tangentially related to the energy sector.

“In short, closing Line 5 will effectively kill my hometown and expel my family and more cities and towns like those in Canada and the United States,” he said.

“This is not an exaggeration. It’s a cold and difficult fact.”

James McCurtain