Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

October 10, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 10/10/2013

No lefts on Division

To address traffic congestion on Division Street: no left turns in either direction from Front Street to 14th Street. Problem solved.

Carolyn Crandall

Traverse City

Can Enbridge be trusted?

On July 26, 2010, just 10 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was capped, a pipeline carrying heavy tar sands crude near Marshall, Mich., ruptured into Talamadge Creek. The pipeline was capped after 843,000 gallons polluted 35 miles of waterway, including the Kalamazoo River, making it the largest inland oil spill in American history.

The National Transportation and Safety Board said pipeline owner Enbridge Energy knew in 2005 that its pipeline was corroded and cracked but didn’t take the necessary precautions to prevent a break.

Now Enbridge Inc. plans a pipeline system expansion, which would send 1.8 million gallons of tar sands crude under the Straits of Mackinac each day. These 60-year-old pipelines have long suffered brutal winters in a tempestuous waterway. The National Wildlife Federation reports this expansion requires higher operating pressures in the pipelines, thus more intense heat and greater stress than the pipelines are used to. A rupture could devastate both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

The importance of the majestic Great Lakes to our region is incalculable, and they are deeply embedded in our identity as Michiganders. It’s time we ask: Do we trust Enbridge with our heritage?

Sam Plotkin

Missoula, Mont.

The writer is a Michigan native and longtime visitor to the area who has family in northern Michigan

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