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VIEW: Detroit Free Press opposes Alberta Clipper expansion, shipments on Lake Superior

The Detroit Free Press editorial board writes, “A misguided set of plans to expand oil transportation could put the Great Lakes in jeopardy. Proposed are two separate projects — an Enbridge (yes, that Enbridge) plan would double the amount of tar sands oil shipped through its Line 67 (Alberta Clipper) pipeline; Calumet Specialty Products wants to build a crude-oil loading dock to move oil via Lake Superior. Both are unacceptable — and approval of either by the federal government would indicate a deep misunderstanding of the true value of the lakes.”

Enbridge is seeking to boost the capacity of the Alberta Clipper pipeline from 450,000 barrels per day to 800,000 barrels per day by 2015.

Line 67
“Line 67 ends at Superior, Wis., on the western tip of Lake Superior. There, the pipeline joins with a distribution network that carries diluted bitumen, or dilbit, through the Midwest and beyond. It’s perilously close to Lake Superior. In light of Enbridge’s track record, that’s a problem. It was an Enbridge pipeline that broke in 2010, spilling dilbit into the Kalamazoo River, Talmadge Creek and the wetlands around Marshall; that’s the same product that’s moved through Line 67.”

Oil on Lake Superior
“The plan to transport oil through the Great Lakes via barge (is foolhardy). There’s comparatively little oil transport across the Lakes at this time; that shouldn’t change. The dock project is currently pending while plans are developed; the U.S. State Department recently extended the public comment period for the Enbridge pipeline expansion. Both projects must obtain a host of federal clearances — though oddly, according to Enbridge’s permit application none of the federal agencies whose approval is required seem to be considering the environmental impact of the project on the Great Lakes, save the state department.”

The editorial board concludes, “Clean water will be an asset that’s worth far more than oil. Jeopardizing the Great Lakes isn’t just morally and ethically wrong. It’s financially foolish, as well.”

For more, please read:
With Great Lakes oil proposals, the risk is not worth the reward
NEWS: Barlow begins tour in city looking at shipping Alberta oil on the Great Lakes
UPDATE: Blockade challenges Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline