New interstate pipeline proposed near old pipeline-rupture site

July 2, 2014

"The wild grass is only now beginning to hide the scar left by the giant ditch digger that gouged a trench though Ron Kardos' Oceola Township, Mich., pasture last year for an oil pipeline - but already Kardos is preparing for another onslaught of construction," writes David Hasemyer of InsideClimate News.

Hasemyer's June 27 article, "Major new pipeline proposed next to Enbridge line that ruptured in 2010," describes the 365-mile interstate pipeline being proposed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio fracking operations to a terminal in Ontario, Canada.

"Much of the line would follow the route of the oil pipeline that Alberta, Canada-based Enbridge Inc. built on Kardos' property and that of other central Michigan residents," writes Hasemyer. "It replaced Enbridge's aging Line 6b, which ruptured in 2010 and spilled more than a million gallons of heavy crude oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River."

The corporation behind the new pipeline recently sent letters to landowners along the route, inviting them to community meetings to learn more about the project and share their concerns. Barry Rabe, author of >Beyond NIMBY and a nationally recognized expert on public opinion on climate, energy, and environmental protection, told Hasemyer that wonders whether landowner objections will be taken seriously at those meetings.

"Is this an earnest effort to engage the citizenry, or is it a dog and pony show where there isn't any give on the proposal?" Rabe asked.

Barry Rabe is a professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and also holds appointments in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Program in the Environment. He is a non-resident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.