Line 5: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario join forces to try to keep it going

Line 5 pipeline

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario are joining forces to try to stop Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, from shutting down Line 5, the cross-border pipeline between the United States and Canada.

Firstly, shutting down the pipeline would create a “dangerous precedent” that would put forever in danger future infrastructure projects between the two countries, said Alberta’s Energy Minister, Sonya Savage in a committee session in the House of Commons this Tuesday.

Secondly, their counterparts in Saskatchewan and Ontario backed Savage in her opinion on the matter; and further warned about the consequences of shutting down a vital infrastructure project.  

As we have reported previously, Line 5 runs through Michigan from the Wisconsin city of Superior to Sarnia, Ont.; crosses the Great Lakes beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which link Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.

Moreover, Line 5 is part of Enbridge’s mainline system. It delivers to northern Alberta more than 2,8 million barrels of oil, more than half of Canada’s total production. It also carries as much as 70% of the total crude oil produced in Saskatchewan that goes into the market.

Canada Line 5

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Line 5 an essential parto of Canada’s energy security

Consequently, the pipeline is considered an essential part of Canada’s energy security. Line 5 is a “welded-steel manifestation, a tangible symbol, of a traditionally strong relationship; a friendship between the United States and Canada; one we must not jeopardize.” Said Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre.

All of this happened after Michigan’s Governor, Whitmer, revoked the 1953 easement that allowed the pipeline to operate for more than 65 years; accusing Enbridge of violating the terms of the agreement after the company attempted to build a tunnel underneath the Straits to upgrade the old pipeline; while keeping the old one in operations. Whitmer wants the whole projects shut down by mid-May.

On the other hand, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, Seamus O’Regan Jr., said his government will invoke any measures necessary to keep the Line 5 going. During an interview earlier this month, he said the shutdown of the pipeline could harm the relationship of both countries.

Finally, energy ministers form the three provinces in Canada said they have written extensively to the Michigan government, and to the governor herself to try to achieve an agreement. Although they have not yet gotten a response.  

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