Michigan wants Enbridge to pledge funds in case of oil spill

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) – Michigan sought a written pledge on Friday from Enbridge Inc. to cover costs that would arise if oil were to leak from its dual pipelines that extend across a channel linking two of the Great Lakes, although the Canadian pipeline company said it had already made such a promise.

Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger asked Enbridge to carry USD900 million of liability insurance and set aside about USD1.88 billion in additional assets for use as needed in the event of a catastrophic spill.

The twin pipes run along the bottom of the 6.4 kilometre wide Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. They make up one segment of Enbridge’s Line 5, which carries oil and liquids used in propane between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.

Enbridge said the underwater section, laid in 1953, is in good condition. Environmental groups and Democratic officials including Governor Gretchen Whitmer contend it is a hazard that should be shut down, which Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking in a lawsuit pending in state court.