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Why This Matters: This ongoing battle sheds light not only on the potential dangers of pipelines, but on the political dynamics between allied nations, and how decades-old policy still impacts their ability to curb fossil fuel use and environmental threats. The US has invoked the treaty before to ensure pipelines were able to transport oil from Alaska to the continental US, and Canadian officials say it would be hypocritical for the US to argue against the treaty now. This argument raises the question: how much should the nation’s fossil fuel history impact its energy future? And is hypocrisy on part of the US necessary to achieve net-zero emissions and protect ecosystems?
Under the Lakes
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and local Indigenous communities have asserted that a section of the Line 5 pipeline — that runs beneath the Great Lakes — could present a grave danger to the delicate ecosystems of the Straits of Mackinac. The 70-year-old pipeline carries millions of barrels of crude oil every day, and any breach could cause irreparable damage. This isn’t the only Enbridge pipeline to face protest from Indigenous communities; the Line 3 pipeline extension in Minnesota has been vehemently protested since its approval in 2015, and successfully began carrying tar sands just this week.
In May, Governor Whitmer ordered the pipeline to be shut down, but Enbridge refused to comply. Since then, court-ordered mediation talks have ensued, but now, those talks are falling apart as parties are unable to come to a compromise or solution. Canadian officials are particularly frustrated by Biden’s absence in the quarrel. “While Biden may want to duck the issue to please [Whitmer] and keep the environmentalists in the Democratic caucus on side, the fact is that the treaty guarantees uninterrupted pipeline transit, except in exceptionally grave emergencies,” said Lawrence Herman, an international trade lawyer and a fellow at the CD Howe Institute.
While Senator Joe Manchin leads the opposition to climate provisions in President Biden’s budget bill, his own state is the most exposed to floods in the nation, according to new data released this month by the nonprofit organization First Street Foundation. Over 60% of West Virginia’s power stations are at risk, twice the average and […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Documents obtained by Greenpeace UK’s investigative journalism team Unearthed reveal that many coal and oil-rich nations have urged the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to water down its upcoming report on the world’s options to fight climate change successfully. Thousands of comments were sent to the IPCC’s […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Vital climate measures in the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) may be on the chopping block as the debate over President Biden’s extensive budget package continues in Congress. Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV) is leading the charge to cut the CEPP, telling the White House he strongly opposes the […]
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