Wednesday, November 24 2021

Detroit News. October 9, 2021.

Editorial: Treaty should take Whitmer out of line 5 fight

Governor Gretchen Whitmer finds himself in a place where a Michigan governor shouldn’t be – at the center of an international treaty dispute with America’s closest friend and trading partner.

Earlier this week, Canada formally invoked a never-before-used 1977 treaty with the United States that it says prevents Whitmer from shutting down the Line 5 pipeline. The line carries Canadian petroleum products under the Straits of Mackinac .

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Whitmer issued an Order in Council revoking the six-decade-old easement granted to pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. It claims Line 5 poses a danger to the Great Lakes.

Canadian officials have informed U.S. District Judge Janet Neff that they are asking the Biden administration to negotiate its treaty request, saying the transit pipeline treaty restricts actions that could harm energy supplies in the ‘one or the other country.

The US State Department has said it “expects the United States and Canada to engage constructively in these negotiations. In addition to being one of our closest allies, Canada remains a key partner of the United States in energy trade as well as in efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment.

This could be interpreted as a reprimand for Whitmer’s furious criticism of Canada for invoking the treaty.

The future of Line 5 is now a federal matter and will be settled through talks between Ottawa and Washington. Since this is an international trade issue, that is where the solution should be.

Canada took action after negotiations between Whitmer and Enbridge broke down.

The company wants to keep Line 5 open while it builds a concrete tunnel to house it 100 feet below the lake bed. The tunnel deal was the product of an agreement between Enbridge and former Governor Rick Snyder. Enbridge must pay the full $ 1 billion construction costs.

It remains the best solution for moving oil while protecting the environment. Whitmer’s objections are meant to fulfill a campaign promise she made to environmentalists hoping to stop the flow of Canadian fossil fuels to the United States.

Pragmatism should now reign. The Biden administration, having already offended Canada by halting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, is unlikely to add insult to injury by allowing Whitmer to cut Line 5. Not at a time when OPEC is restricting oil and where supplies are tightening. costs to US consumers.

Whitmer cited the current oil spill from a ruptured pipeline off the coast of California as the justification for his Line 5 attacks. But it actually makes the case for the tunnel. The California leak was apparently caused by the anchor of a dragging ship.

The line 5 tunnel would prevent such an accident in the Strait.

Canada uses the treaty to protect its economic, energy and environmental interests. In doing so, it also protects that of Michigan.

Line 5 is essential for supplying propane, jet fuel and other products to Michigan and the Midwest.

Without the pipeline, these products would have to be transported by train, truck or boat, all of which present considerable risks to the lakes.

Whitmer is on the wrong side of the Line 5 problem. She is expected to step aside while the two nations work out their obligations and expectations under the treaty.

Traverse City Record-Aigle. October 7, 2021.

Editorial: The clock keeps ticking on the Line 5 pipeline

Oil spills, in themselves, are bad news.

They are bad for the environment because petrochemicals pollute water, wildlife and human habitat.

They are bad for business, especially those that depend on clean natural resources.

But bad spills can always elicit good responses. Quick action. Efficient cleanings. Transparency on behalf of the responsible party.

Unfortunately, that last pipeline break in California was not the one.

The 140,000-gallon spill came from a 17-mile-long, 40-year-old pipeline owned by Amplify Energy Corp. in the pipe, according to preliminary reports. Divers on Tuesday found a piece of the hose bent and dragged 105 feet, according to USA Today.

But beyond the strike itself, the news is now telling us what to expect – revelations of botched responses.

Yes, the company had an automated leak detection system and a 24/7 control room. Yes, an alarm should have been triggered and people warned.

Yes, the first report came from a waiting ship that noticed the glow. Yes, Amplify has obtained a low pressure “possible failure” alarm on the line. No, they only closed it three hours later. No, they didn’t notify the National Response Center for more than six hours. Yes, the Coast Guard was made aware of the spill by witness vessels reporting the burst, but no, they did not investigate until almost 12 hours later.

In Michigan, we have our own stories, including the 840,000 gallon spill (nearly seven times the amount spilled in California) into the Kalamazoo River system via Enbridge’s 6B pipeline. Brut pumped for 17 hours before the operation. Subsequently, federal reports criticized Enbridge for knowing its 41-year-old pipeline was in poor condition, and its own Pipeline Safety and Hazardous Materials Administration for not doing its job.

Enbridge, Michigan, Line 5 was constructed in 1953. It too suffered anchoring impacts and holes in its required protective coating. What needs to be done with it – whether that’s to shut it down completely or run it through a utility tunnel under the lake bed – has effectively left it in stasis, functioning, and aging.

The Canadian government (Enbridge is owned by Canada and the majority of the 22 million gallons of crude oil and gas per day transported through Line 5 are refined for use in Canada and abroad) recently invoked a 1977 treaty with the United States that will bring the problem to the national stage.

No pipeline can run forever, no matter what some say about 68-year-old “built to last” pipelines.

Even with so-called built-in safeties, mistakes do happen. But it’s the answers to these mistakes that eat away confidence in the ability to fix a bad spill. The parties, now federal, state and private and not-for-profit, must stop stagnating and resolve what to do with this aging infrastructure that is endangering 20 percent of the world’s freshwater supply – before the spill .

Le Journal des Mines (Marquette). October 6, 2021.

Editorial: NMU, the situation of union contracts finally resolved

It has taken months, but it appears the standoff between the University of Michigan North American Association of University Teachers’ union and the NMU administration is coming to an end.

The union and administration had negotiated increases in base wages and other forms of compensation. NMU-AAUP and the university administration were unable to come to an agreement until the one-year contract expired at midnight on July 1, with mediation starting between the two parties that month.

The union met on September 28 to ratify a tentative agreement, but rejected it 137-92. However, on Friday, the two sides reached an agreement in principle on the AAUP faculty contract. Agreement was reached on a few outstanding issues that contributed to the failure of the recent ratification vote.

Officially, it is not over. The faculty shall ratify the agreement with the final approval of the NMU Board of Directors.

In a statement, NMU-AAUP Chairman Dwight Brady said there was a better chance of ratification with the proposal, noting that he appreciated the efforts of the union’s chief negotiator, Lesley Putman, and members of the administration who helped secure the deal.

Acting NMU President Kerri Schuiling, who has her hands full with her new post, noted in a statement that the administration is delighted that the two sides have worked together on the deal.

Of course, the process hasn’t always been smooth. When former NMU chairman Fritz Erickson summoned in August, professors withdrew to protest the stalemate in negotiations. There had also been signs throughout the community indicating how many days teachers had worked without a contract.

We don’t yet know the details of the contract, but it appears to satisfy the faculty and administration, who, if they approve the deal, can focus more on other pressing academic matters in the years to come. to come.

We’re happy to see that a deal could finally be found, although we wish it hadn’t taken so much time and dismay for that to happen. Without hearing the behind-the-scenes discussions, we don’t know exactly what happened, but it looks like the situation is moving in the right direction.

Copyright 2021 Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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