Take Action: Help Prevent Great Lakes Tar Sands Spills

from Wildlife Promise

South Haven, Michigan  Lake Michigan by Mic Stolz

South Haven, Michigan – Lake Michigan by Mic Stolz

It is only a matter of time before Great Lakes communities are being evacuated from their homes, possibly never to return, due to the latest tar sands spill. We have known about this gut wrenching risk since Enbridge polluted the Kalamazoo River with over 1 million gallons of tar sands crude. Sadly, since that spill very little has changed to protect us from experiencing similar disasters - in fact, the risk is about to increase as Enbridge expands an old network of pipelines to transport even more tar sands throughout the Great Lakes.

Web of Pipelines Put Wildlife, Communities at Risk

Despite major issues with pipeline safety regulations and safety regulators telling Enbridge their pipelines are not safe, Enbridge has been allowed to max out pipelines running in, around and through the Great Lakes, so they can increase profit and eventually feed international markets with tar sands. Some of the pipelines being pushed to their limits are 60 years old and run under the Great Lakes for miles!

New and existing tar sands pipelines threaten the Great Lakes. These Lakes are the economic backbone for surrounding states and the freshwater drinking source for millions.

For years, Enbridge has been setting the stage to make the Midwest and the Great Lakes the hub for transportation of toxic tar sands. Due to major regulatory holes and gaps, Enbridge has largely been allowed to move forward with a region-wide expansion of their pipelines without the larger public having a say in the decision.

However, Enbridge has finally hit a roadblock that requires public input for one of their lines crossing the U.S. and Canada border – known as Alberta Clipper or Line 67. Enbridge is required to obtain a presidential permit because they plan to greatly increase the amount of tar sands being imported. This permit opens up a door for public comment, which finally gives concerned citizens opportunity to have a voice and to become involved.

Stop Reckless Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion

Now is the time to stand up against these plans and tell the State Department that you strongly oppose Enbridge being allowed to expand their pipelines, which will bring the Great Lakes larger spills and more pollution from refining!

It is critical that we tell the State Department that we value our resources and communities over oil profits. The increased import of tar sands crude is not to benefit the Midwest or the U.S. – Enbridge has already started to pump tar sands south for export and has plans to do the same out east. This means that we are assuming an increased risk of much larger spills, pollution from refining and aiding in the development in Canada’s tar sands region – one of the biggest threats to our global climate.

Straits of Mackinac and location of Enbridge Line 5 – a 60 year old tar sands pipeline running below the surface of the water for almost 5 miles.

If we have learned anything from the Kalamazoo River tar sands spill caused by Enbridge, and the Exxon tar sands spill in Arkansas last month – it’s that we have no idea how to respond to pipeline spills and the obvious priority for these companies is profits over safety and common sense. The U.S. should not approve tar sands pipeline projects, whether they are new (like Keystone XL) or an expansion of old pipelines – these projects are all risk and no reward!

Tell the U.S. State Department you value the safety of wildlife, our resources and our communities over oil profits!