Andrew R. Michigan

Line 5 Pipeline Must Go

The Great Lakes is no place for an oil spill to happen.

Dear Mr. or Madam President,

I am quite mad about the oil pipeline that is still running along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. But why should that be a problem for a 17 year old young man from Clarkston, Michigan, over 250 miles away from the pipeline, be concerned about one pipeline? Because it is putting MY home at risk. Michigan has been my home for 17 years and I have grown fond of all the regions of the state, but by far, any place north of the 45° parallel is spectacular. However, that area has fallen victim to being potentially contaminated by thousands of gallons of oil— both in the water and on land. As if there is a need for a pipeline that stretches through the Straits of Mackinac. The only advantage of this pipeline is to move oil from Superior, WI, to Detroit, MI faster, and bypass the cost of a longer pipeline. Sure Enbridge, who owns the pipeline, has high standards for safety and they really “care” about protecting our waters, but they can not control the possibility of a catastrophe. They are playing a game of russian roulette we can not afford. One too many times has this planet been hurt as a result of oil. Kalamazoo River, Gulf of Mexico, Prince William Sound, Persian Gulf. Locations known for catastrophic oil spills. As if conditions have approved. As if the lives of all the aquatic animals and plants can be recovered. To relate this to people, and offer a more human perspective. Vietnam, where Agent Orange was released onto civilians by the United States military , and death tolls are still rising to this day. We understand the long term effects, and halted the commercial use of said product. But what about oil in Prince William Sound. 250,000 seabirds, dead. 3,000 sea otters, dead. 300 harbour seals, dead. 250 bald eagles, dead. 22 killer whales, dead. But after all that, oil is still shipped around this planet like an STD. We must realize the Great Lakes are some of the most ecologically diverse waters on this planet, and extremely delicate. This planet is slowly being suffocated at the hand of man. The same will happen to the Great Lakes if nothing changes. It is too late for you to claim that is pure speculation or “we don’t know what will happen”. Please think about it with at least one brain cell. Look at the trends we have seen throughout history; we are not growing nature and allowing it to be free, we are exploiting living beings for our own benefit. And not our, I mean the heartless and industrial minded people we have formed over the years to not give any thought about human emotion, but to focus on the money. The time will come that the Line 5 pipeline will burst, due to the fact it was built under 1953 standards and has only received the repairs “necessary”. What are you really saving by keeping the pipeline in the Great Lakes? The EPA stated they are not prepared and do not have the advanced technology needed to clean up an oil spill that could occur in the Straits of Mackinac. Yes, Enbridge does state that Line 5 carries no heavy crude oil, just light crude oil and liquified natural gas, which they claim is “easier to clean up”, but that doesn’t mean we won’t suffer. One too many times has a human disaster caused long-term damage to people and the planet, and it’s time we make the change. Remove the pipeline. Stop putting our natural resources, our health, our enjoyment at risk. The fate of the Great Lakes should not be in the hands of one company, but in the hands of the people. 

Clarkston Community Schools

Eisele IB ELA 12


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