Enbridge starts to back pedal – As Michigan Oil Spill Clean-Up Costs Rise

Kalamazoo River Enbridge Oil SpillEnbridge continues to lose credibility after denying legal responsibility for the biggest Midwest oil pipeline disaster in history.

Why are we not surprised? Six months after the Kalamazoo River oil spill, Enbridge is starting to deny legal liability for costs related to the oil spill, which dumped nearly 1 million gallons of tar sands oil into a major tributary to Lake Michigan. Last week, Enbridge also increased the estimated cost of the oil spill to $550 million – which creeps closer to their $650 million umbrella insurance policy. Will these denials continue as the cost of the clean-up approaches their coverage cap?

Enbridge’s latest move illustrates yet again why it is critical to hold corporate polluters accountable by increasing pipeline safety and regulation standards. The Michigan Messenger reported yesterday:

Bill Mayhall, the Attorney representing 10 households in Marshall and Battle Creek, Michigan explained: “Now they want us to prove that they are responsible for the spill.”

Enbridge argues that it cannot be held liable for the oil spill because it has followed all relevant laws, regulations and industry standards and the damage was not foreseeable.

Not foreseeable? What next – these spills are “Acts of God”?

All of this while Enbridge, on their very own company website, has this to say about their commitment to impacted communities along the oil polluted river:

Enbridge accepts full responsibility for all for the costs related to the emergency response and for any property damage as a result of the spill.

Elsewhere Enbridge says,

There is no need for individuals who have suffered damages to sue Enbridge, as we have committed to paying all legitimate damages to everyone who has been affected by the spill.

And they go on to express their commitment,

We want to acknowledge the impact the spill has had on the people of Calhoun County. We understand that the leak has disrupted people’s lives and made a mess of properties, public spaces and waterways.
The community and surrounding areas are our primary focus, and we have committed necessary resources to this effort.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center is committed to helping the communties and wildlife impacted by the Enbridge oil spill.  Help NWF hold dirty energy accountable.  Take action here against dangerous tar sands pipelines.

Michigan Oil Spill - Kalamazoo River