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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Order To shut Midwestern oil pipeline

The Midwestern oil pipeline continued operating despite the shutdown demand from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The operator warned it could lead to fuel disruptions similar to those resulting from a cyberattack on an East Coast system. Governor ordered Line 5 closed last November because of the potential for a spill in a channel linking two of the Great Lakes. Canadian pipeline company Enbridge said only the federal government has regulatory authority over its operations.

Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company backed by numerous chambers of commerce and Republican legislators in Michigan, seized on last week’s hack of the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the gasoline consumed on the East Coast. The shutdown led to panic-buying that has left thousands of filling stations without fuel and motorists in long lines.

Mike Moeller, Enbridge’s director of operations for the Great Lakes region said that the cyberattack that accelerated an unexpected, temporary closure brings to the forefront what consumers could face. Without Line 5, consumers will shoulder the burden of supply disruptions and related price growths, particularly for propane and transportation fuel.

Whitmer’s office said in a statement that the Colonial Pipeline interruption has shown the danger of depending on a single energy supply. This is the reason behind Governor Whitmer’s plan to protect jobs, diversify and expand our renewable energy resources, and ensure Michigan’s energy needs are met, while also taking action to get the oil out of the water as soon as possible.

Line 5 moves oil and natural gas liquids for 645 miles through northern Wisconsin and Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. This line 5 regularly carries 23 million gallons which are used for refined gasoline, jet fuel and propane in several Midwestern states, as well as Ontario and Quebec. A 6.4-kilometres that divides into two pipes that cross the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The state in 1953 granted an easement to place the pipes on the bottom of the straits. Whitmer revoked it, saying Enbridge hadn’t met its safety provisions, which the company disputes.

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