Environmental groups are increasing their pressure on Governor Snyder to keep the pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac safe.
This increase in concern follows the recent proclamation by the Coast Guard saying it is not prepared to handle a “heavy” oil spill in the Great Lakes.
David Holtz is the Executive Committee Chair of the Sierra Club’s Michigan Chapter. He says Michigan would be in serious trouble if the pipelines were to rupture.
“Problem is that we know the effects that tar sands has had when there’s been a spill because thats what happened along the Kalamazoo River in Marshall. What we don’t know is whether other crude oil that is currently going through the pipe what the effects of that would be, but we certainly dont want to find out.”
As of now, Enbridge says they are not pumping “heavy” oil, or tar sands, through the pipeline that runs under the Straits. But, they are not specifically barred from doing so.
Environmental groups worry this may change in the future because Enbridge has decided to expand their Alberta-Clipper pipeline. This line does export tar sands and runs from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin where the Straits pipeline begins.