Politics
Possible closure of Line 5 does not threaten Canada’s energy security: Ambassador

Possible closure of Line 5 does not threaten Canada’s energy security: Ambassador

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States says that while the potential closure of Line 5 is a serious problem, it does not threaten Canada’s national energy security.

“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.

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 from a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes, ”said Gretchen spokesperson Chelsea Lewis-Parisio.

Watch: Canadian Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman on the importance of Line 5:

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, told David Common on Power & Politics that the operation of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline is expected to continue despite the Michigan government’s desire to shut it down by May 12. 3:07

Enbridge sued Michigan in U.S. federal court over the dispute, and both sides were ordered to find a solution to the dispute through mediation last month.

“The notice gave Enbridge 180 days to organize the shutdown and subsequent decommissioning of the pipelines. This 180-day period expires on May 12. illegal, ”said Lewis-Parisio.

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. .

Enbridge VP confident crude will sink after May 12

All kerosene produced at Pearson International Airport is made with crude supplied through 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 flow through Line 5 before be refined into propane in the state.

(Enbridge)

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 because 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.”

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