Video — Great Lakes and Invasives and Oil, Oh My!
Two of the greatest threats to the greatest of lakes – invasive species and submerged oil pipelines – were the subject of a Detroit public television legal affairs program on which I recently appeared. Among other things, Michigan Law School Professor David Uhlmann and I discussed the threat of Asian carp invading the Great Lakes through the Chicago Waterway System, and the 2010 Enbridge Energy oil spill in Michigan .
Invasive species transported in ballast water carried by oceangoing ships have already imposed huge costs on communities throughout the Great Lakes region and devastated the fish and wildlife native to the Great Lakes and beyond. We can ill afford new invasions by the Asian carp or other non-native species.
As in the case of the recent Exxon Mobil oil spill in the Yellowstone River, the Enbridge spill has harmed the people and wildlife dependent on Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. These oil spill incidents are not isolated. They underscore the crying need for better oversight of existing pipelines, as well as a halt to new ones such as the Keystone XL pipeline, which would perpetuate the world’s unsustainable dependence on oil while posing grave risks to America’s heartland.