Donny J. Michigan

Pipeline 5

An oil pipeline that sits at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac by the name of "line 5" threatens all we have come to know and love about the Great Lakes.

Dear Future President, 

The Great Lakes are the largest system of freshwater in the world, They’re one of the most visited areas in the United States and are a huge part of Michigan’s and the surrounding states economies. But know they’re in danger. A 62 year old deteriorating oil pipeline 12 years past its expiration date by the name of “line 5” is sitting at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, one the most iconic places in the Great Lakes. An oil spill would devastate the lake region and take billions of dollars to clean. Pipeline 5 is in need of a replacement after years of stress put on the pipe.

The company which owns the pipeline Enbridge. A company out of Canada has a very bad history with other pipelines which brings out more concerns about the pipes health. Enbridge have been responsible for some of the biggest inland oil spills in history. This includes the oil spill in the Kalamazoo river just a few years ago. “On July 25th, 2010, Enbridge had the longest and most costly inland oil spill in United States history, saturating around 40 miles of the Kalamazoo river watershed. The rupture in the pipeline went undetected for nearly 17 hours allowing oil to spread across the region” - David Schwab, Ph.D., research scientist at the University of Michigan. The importance of this piece is how it shows Enbridge’s tarnished safety record. This applies to my claim because it is another reason the 62 year old pipeline needs to be replaced.

The 62 year old pipeline was only supposed to last 50 years, and with 23 million gallons of oil flowing through the aging pipelines in the pipe needs to be replaced. Pipeline 5 is 62 years old, 12 years past it’s original lifespan. With 23 million gallons of oil flowing everyday the concern grows. “Every day, nearly 23 million gallons of oil through the two aging pipelines in the heart of the great lakes. Nearly 62 years old the pipe has seen its fair share of mistreatment. Since 2006 over 70 supports have been added to try and meet the original requirements.” - Andy Buchsbaum, National Wildlife Federation. This shows how the pipe has millions of gallons flowing through it everyday as it falls apart. This relates to my claim because it shows how the old pipeline has been mis-handled and needs to be replaced.

The pipeline is also in the worst spot possible for an oil spill in the Great Lakes. Any oil spill is never good, but one of the worst possible spots for an oil spill is the Straits of Mackinac. The currents would take the oil in all directions and the surrounding areas would be devastated. “If you were to pick the worst possible place for an oil spill in the Great lakes, this would be it.” - David Schwab, Ph.D., research scientist at the University of Michigan. This shows how a spill in the straits would be catastrophic to the lakes, the people who live there and how it couldn’t come in a worse spot.

The 62 year old deteriorating pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac needs to be replaced. An oil spill in this area would be devastating to all surrounding areas and would cost millions if not billions to clean up. But you can prevent this, you can call for a replacement of the pipe to keep one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States safe.

Clarkston Community Schools

5th Hour

ELA 10

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