Grab your popcorn, it could be an interesting day in Canada tomorrow (May 12, 2021).
For those unfamiliar with Canada’s geography and politics, the west has the third-largest oil reserves in the world. Yet despite this, Eastern Canada buys a significant portion of its oil from Saudi Arabia and the remaining half is obtained through pipelines beneath the Great Lakes that transport oil sent from Western Canada to Michigan, USA and then back to refineries in Ontario.
A few years back, it was proposed that a pipeline should be built from Western Canada to the East, reducing its dependence on Saudi oil. But the opposition from environmental fanatics and the federal and Quebec governments resulted in the pipeline being scrapped. READ: TransCanada pulls plug on Energy East pipeline
Well, Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered the pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac (that connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron) to be shut down tomorrow (May 12), because it is dangerous for the environment.
Ironically, she is using the same argument that Canadian politicians used to oppose building a pipeline to transport oil from Western Canada to the East.
The Guardian reports:
The state of Michigan has told a Canadian energy company it must shut down a controversial oil and gas pipeline by Wednesday amid growing fears that a spill would be catastrophic to the region, in a feud which threatens to strain relations between Canada and the United States.
The company’s refusal to comply with the order, and swift support from top Canadian officials, highlights the politicized nature of pipelines, which campaigners have used as a target in the fight against climate change.
For nearly 67 years, Enbridge has moved oil and natural gas from western Canada through Michigan and the Great Lakes to refineries in the province of Ontario.
But Michigan says the one section to the pipeline – Line 5 – is too risky to continue operating.
It is highly doubtful the pipeline will be shut off tomorrow as Canada cites international treaties stating such a move would be illegal. But it exposes the weakness of depending on the goodwill, or in this case the lack of it, of another country for our energy.