Energy

Michigan AG Candidate Wants To Shut Down An Oil Pipeline That’s Never Leaked In 60 Years

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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One of the lawyers that helped end Michigan’s gay marriage ban is now campaigning for state attorney general on a platform that includes closing a gas pipeline that has not leaked in six decades of service.

Dana Nessel became the first candidate to enter the race Tuesday to succeed Republican Bill Schuette. She promised to target debt collectors, corporate polluters, and a pile of lawsuits regarding the Enbridge Line 5, which has not leaked in nearly 60 years of service.

“The office of the Michigan attorney general has lost its way,” said Nessel, a Democrat who spearheaded a ballot drive to amend the state constitution to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“They aren’t fighting for the little guy. They aren’t fighting to protect our people against rogue bad actors hurting our most vulnerable,” she said regarding Michigan’s previous attorneys general.

Schuette opposed Nessel’s gay marriage crusade, but stated in June that a “specific and definite timetable” should be placed on decommissioning the Line 5. He was also instrumental in bringing charges against the local officials responsible for the Flint water crisis.

Line 5, which runs under lakes Michigan and Huron, provides 65 percent of propane required in the Upper Peninsula, and more than half of Michigan’s statewide propane needs, according to the Enbridge website. It transports up to 540,000 barrels per day of oil and natural gas liquids, which are then converted into propane.

“The political silly season is underway and it’s a disservice to the hardworking attorneys in our office that work every day on behalf of Michigan taxpayers,” Schuette’s spokeswoman, Andrea Bitely, said of Nessel’s comments. “We will stay focused on defending our Constitution and working for Michigan families.”

Activists have targeted the company in the past, most notably regarding its lines in Canada.

The oil transportation developer was forced last year to shut down one of its pipelines — Line 9 — connecting Sarnia, Ontario to Montreal for about four hours following protesters tampering with the pipelines’ switch-off valves. It was the fourth time in two months the company has shuttered the line.

The group of eco-terrorists call themselves the “The People versus Enbridge line 9.” Their Facebook administrators posted photos in December 2015 showing its members cutting chains protecting Enbridge’s valve equipment.

Enbridge Line 9 was developed in 2015 and delivers Eastern Canadian crude to Western Canadian refineries. The pipeline has been attacked three times, including the most recent incident.

Nessel said Tuesday that, along with focusing on anti-pipeline issues, she intends to create a hate crimes division inside the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and aggressively prosecute discrimination based on race and gender.

“You will be safe. You will be protected and hate will not win,” she said following her campaign announcement.

Enbridge did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.

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