Michigan Tribes and Environmental Groups Urge Enbridge to Leave

While they had hoped Governor Whitmer’s threats would make Enbridge close Line 5, the Canadian company is still in operation.  

Chair of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians Aaron Payment says he’s not surprised but they’re still standing together against the pipeline. “We are making clear that we are putting a line in the sand to say that Enbridge does not belong here,” he said. “Their irresponsibility as a company, their pump and pray approach, the spill that happened at line 6. This is an accident waiting to happen. A spill is imminent. It’s finally time for the pipeline to be shut down.” 

One of their greatest concerns is how an oil spill would affect their land and waters, especially the local whitefish population. “Any major disaster could result in the decimation and elimination of the whitefish species in the Great Lakes,” said Payment. “So, obviously, as people who depend on commercial fishing that’s part of our tradition. That would be eliminated.” 

Representative for environmental group Oil and Water Don’t Mix, David Holtz says the Straits of Mackinac is an especially dangerous place for a 67 year old pipeline. “Here in the straits, as everyone knows, this is a turbulent place and that oil would spread very widely,” he said. 

Oil and Water Don’t Mix will join Bay Mills Indian Community and other citizens in sending an eviction notice to Enbridge’s Mackinaw City location on Thursday. “Obviously this is a people’s eviction and not a court eviction but we really want to show Enbridge that the people are behind shutting down Line 5 and what the governor is doing,” said Holtz.