When you start a business in Michigan, you know that you’re required to comply with the laws of the state. Whether you agree with them or not, this is a reality that all business owners here contend with. As the owner of two small businesses in Grand Rapids, I am acutely aware of what it takes to lawfully operate a business in this state.
However, it seems that Enbridge Inc., despite their teams of lawyers and expensive marketing campaigns, refuses to comply with Michigan’s law. But this Canadian oil company is no more above the law than either of my local businesses.
It was Enbridge’s lackadaisical and haphazard monitoring that warranted the action by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to revoke their Line 5 easement by May 12 of this year. That easement had granted them permission to operate their oil pipeline, but after repeated and flagrant violations of the terms of the easement, it’s no surprise that it was terminated. Now, if Enbridge doesn’t cease operation of Line 5 beneath the Straits by that date, it is in direct violation of our state law.
The governor gave ample opportunity to Enbridge and other stakeholders to participate in shaping the transition following the planned Line 5 shut down. The MI Propane Security Plan outlines the path to transition away from Line 5 — which is easy since Line 5 now primarily serves the Canadian marketplace anyway.
And the truth is that with an expected 50-year life span, Enbridge should have been preparing to shut down Line 5…