"‘We Can’t Drink Oil’: How A 70-Year-Old Pipeline Imperils The Great Lakes"

"Tribes say Line 5 is a ‘ticking time bomb’ for the Great Lakes, which contain a fifth of the Earth’s surface fresh water, and risks destroying their relationship with land and water".

"MACKINAW CITY, Mich. - It’s little known to the throngs of tourists who gawp at the wonder of the Great Lakes but at the meeting point of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, a combined system that forms the largest lake in the world, there is a 70-year-old pipeline, battered and dented by dropped boat anchors.

The pipeline pushes a million gallons of oil each hour through the heart of this vast ecosystem.

The operators of this pipeline, which is called Line 5, now wants to embark upon an enormous tunneling project to burrow the exposed section that lies on the lakebed underneath the Great Lakes and prolong its life for another century, starting a labyrinthine battle that has enmeshed the governments of the US and Canada, the state of Michigan and various industry and fishing interests.

At the centre of this maelstrom are the native Great Lakes tribes that cherish the Straits of Mackinac, the four mile-wide stretch of water the ageing pipeline bisects, in creation stories as the birthplace of North America itself. They claim Line 5, which cuts through swathes of native land in its 645-mile route, is a “ticking time bomb” that imperils the Great Lakes, which contain a fifth of Earth’s entire surface fresh water, and risks severing deep, existential bonds of cultural connections that stretch back millennia."

Oliver Milman reports for the Guardian September 26, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 09/27/2023