River Country Journal
Celebrating and Nurturing Life in Southwest Michigan's River Country

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July 6, 2013

Pipeline potpourri

Pipelines are very much in the news these days and – whether the subject is TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline project or, closer to home, the Enbridge 6B replacement pipeline that passes through ‘River Country’ – there’s controversy associated with the subject.  This report will share several items under the ‘pipeline umbrella’ to convey information for consideration by River Country Journal readers.

Regarding Enbridge, Rick Cordes, staff writer with the Three Rivers Commercial-News, reports in Saturday’s (July 6th) edition of the newspaper that “Work on the installation of the Enbridge 6B replacement pipeline that began last summer will continue this year in St. Joseph County, starting up northwest of Mendon where crews left off after completing about six miles of work ending in November.”  Cordes indicates that “Preliminary construction will begin Monday (July 8th) on the next section of the pipeline that from Mendon will extend westward toward the line’s terminus in Griffith, Ind.”  For more on the story, see Saturday’s newspaper or the e-edition.  To access an abbreviated online version of the report, click on the following link:  Pipeline work to begin Monday.

For additional information about Enbridge, go to www.enbridgeus.com or www.enbridge.com.

As noted earlier, there’s controversy associated with pipelines and that’s the case with the Enbridge 6B replacement project.  Locally, the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI CATS) invited Three Rivers residents to attend an event the evening of June 12th at Meyer Broadway Park, “an open community barbeque for those who wish to discuss how Enbridge construction has affected them and potential solutions to the problems being caused.”  A news release from MI CATS regarding the gathering said, “Since the Kalamazoo River oil spill in 2010, the issue of tar sands in Michigan has received more local and national attention. Much of this has called Enbridge’s practices and legal authority into question, including their construction of increased capacity pipelines without being required to create an emergency response plan. Enbridge is currently beginning to start their final phase of construction on their new pipeline in the Three Rivers area, which will allow them to pump twice the amount of tar sands oil than they were previously. Tar sands oil is produced with intensive water, gas, and chemical resources in Alberta, Canada, and then piped through the Great Lakes to our refineries. Not only does Enbridge violate the State of Michigan’s eminent domain requirements in doing so, but it supports a larger tar sands industry that brings great harm to individual, community, and ecosystem health across the continent.”

Elizabeth Chiaravalli & Jarret Schlaff at Meyer Broadway Park

During an interview with Bruce Snook of the River Country Journal as the ‘open community barbecue’ was getting underway, two MI CATS representatives – Jarret Schlaff of Detroit and Elizabeth Chiaravalli of Kalamazoo – discussed the organization, their concerns about tar sands and Enbridge, and their desire to see a transition to renewable sources of energy.  To hear the conversation with them, click here (7:28 – 6.83 MB).

For more information about the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI CATS), click on the following link to the organization’s page on Facebook:  MI CATS.


Related to the issues raised by MI CATS is Oil & Water Don’t Mix – A  Rally for the Great Lakes, an event planned for Sunday, July 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Bridge View Park, immediately north of the Mackinac Bridge near St. Ignace.  Bill McKibben, American environmentalist, author and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming, will be the keynote speaker.  To learn more about the rally, click on the link that follows:  Oil & Water Don’t Mix – A Rally for the Great Lakes.


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