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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Threatens Shutdown of Great Lakes Oil Pipeline

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Threatens Shutdown of Great Lakes Oil Pipeline

Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge continues pipeline operation, ignoring Whitmer’s May 12 deadline.

While California Gov. Gavin Newsom is certainly a strong contender for Worst Governor, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer is certainly giving him a serious challenge for the title.

At least Newsom is returning some tax monies to his citizens. This week, during the Colonial Pipeline crisis that has impacted the East Coast, Whitemer is targeting a Great Lakes oil pipeline and trying to shut it down.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer threatened Tuesday to go after Enbridge’s profits from a Great Lakes oil pipeline if the company defies her order to shut it down.

The Democratic governor issued the warning in a letter to the Canadian energy transport company on the eve of a state-imposed deadline to halt operation of Line 5, which moves oil through northern Wisconsin and Michigan to refineries in Ontario. Enbridge repeated its intention to defy Whitmer’s demand.

A nearly 4-mile-long section of Line 5 divides into two pipes that cross the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Whitmer used eco-activist reasoning in ordering the pipeline to shut, saying the segment is vulnerable to a catastrophic spill in the cold, swirling channel. The governor revoked a the 1953 easement last November for the pipes to occupy the lake bottom and ordered them closed by May 12.

I also have to say, increasing the trade tensions with Canada is an interesting bonus to Whitmer’s approach.

The Canadian oil transport firm, Enbridge, is ignoring the order and continues to send 23 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids through Line 5. The firm asserts that the federal government has the final jurisdiction in this matter.

The battle over Line 5 is playing out in both state and federal courts, and in the court of public opinion. Enbridge, with allies including many Republicans in the state Legislature, business and industry groups and labor unions for refinery workers, says a Line 5 shutdown would devastate Michigan’s and the region’s energy supply and economy — and the company has spread that message far and wide across television, the web and print in an expensive media blitz.

…Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy said operations will continue.

“We will not stop operating the pipeline unless we are ordered by a court or our regulator, which we view as highly unlikely,” he said.

“Line 5 is operating safely, reliably and is in compliance with the law. The state of Michigan has never presented any concrete evidence to suggest otherwise. The U.S. agency in charge of pipeline safety, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), has confirmed on multiple occasions that the pipelines are fit for service.”

The company has a strong case for continuing.

…[I]nternational trade lawyer Lawrence Herman says that the United States, not Michigan, is legally bound to keep the pipeline running.

He points to the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty between Canada and the United States, which was ratified by the US congress.

“Regardless of what the state of Michigan may or may not want to do, the treaty is binding on the United States as a whole,”said Herman. “It’s a matter between the two governments: Canada and the United States.”

Both governments intended the deal to be a long-term arrangement, said Herman, pointing out the treaty requires either side give 10 years notice to withdraw.

“My point is, a deal is a deal,” he said.

Whitmer is up for reelection in 2022. It is going to be interesting to see if Michigan voters appreciate the continuing pandemic restrictions on their freedoms and an escalation in fuel costs…or will choose another option.

At least, as a Californian, I get some pocket change and a free recall circus.


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As a Democrat, there is a third option for electoral success…cheat.

If someone held her down with their knee on her neck, she’d like it.

Morning Sunshine | May 13, 2021 at 10:15 pm

My first thought when I heard about this: this is an international matter, which means that there was probably a treaty involved, and Senate ratification. Which means that a 2-bit wanna-be dictator-governor cannot just shut it down. Also, this is a big deal to the biggest (and bitter cold) cities in Canada, There is no way in that cold cold place that they will allow Michigan to just shut it down. This is over Whitmer’s paygrade.

I was in Montreal during the ice storm in January 1998, when power to the entire island was gone. It got cold and it got a bit crazy. Happily, there was some power, so they would cycle it to different areas to allow heat to work for a few hours a day, and full power to the city was restored within 2 weeks. The rest of the province took up to 2 months to get full power back

…[I]nternational trade lawyer Lawrence Herman says that the United States, not Michigan, is legally bound to keep the pipeline running.

He points to the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty between Canada and the United States, which was ratified by the US congress.

“Regardless of what the state of Michigan may or may not want to do, the treaty is binding on the United States as a whole,”

In the USA treaties are laws, with the same status as federal statutes, so Michigan is also bound by it. I would think that revoking the easement is illegal, and therefore a nullity. (Indeed there are many legal authorities who believe the treaty power is a backdoor that allows the senate to legislate even beyond congress’s enumerated powers; I don’t agree with that, but as I understand it that is the prevailing view.)

    stevewhitemd in reply to Milhouse. | May 13, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    I think that’s the correct view. A treaty ratified by the Senate has the force of federal law. Plus, after the treaty is ratified the Congress generally writes and passes some enabling legislation that permits the bureaucracy to enforce the terms of the treaty — can’t have a treaty that obligates us to do something and then not have a mechanism to do what is required.

    So I think the good governor is SOL, though (as always) the devil is in the details. And whether the Biden administration is of a mind to obey the law.

    ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Milhouse. | May 14, 2021 at 3:49 am

    In the USA treaties are laws, with the same status as federal statutes, so Michigan is also bound by it.

    LOL. That’s cute. Law …

    I think we have all seen that there is no “law” in this nation. And that is 100% serious.

Gretch needs to learn to stay in her lane. I hope she’s thoroughly humiliated by the time this episode is over.

    UJ in reply to Sanddog. | May 14, 2021 at 12:58 am

    She’s too stupid and arrogant to learn. She’ll simply blame someone else, like every democrat, ever.

henrybowman | May 14, 2021 at 1:45 am

So without actually looking it up, I’m going to hazard a guess that the Michigan constitution has no mechanism to recall a Governor.

How’d I do?

I want to make a crack about her AG, but I would be kick off this site. I think this is a total disparate move. They really hate people. They just want to suck any joy out of us. 1984 10x.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | May 14, 2021 at 3:39 am

Whitmer is up for reelection in 2022. It is going to be interesting to see if Michigan voters appreciate the continuing pandemic restrictions on their freedoms and an escalation in fuel costs…or will choose another option.

In any sane, self-respecting society, she’d be worried about having to spend the rest of her life in prison (or worse), not whether she will get re-elected or not.

This hits every single Michigan citizen right where it hurts. They are about to get an education about how indispensable “fossil” fuels are to EVERYTHING! Wait until they get a few weeks of 18th century lifestyle.

Is there is a pattern beginning to emerge here? Maybe the Russians are not the ones who clobbered the Colonial Pipeline? I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

    Dwo888 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 14, 2021 at 8:21 am

    I think Democrats WANT energy insecurity and chaos, so they can say their “Green Power is more sustainable” or some other buzz words statement. Then force it down people’s throats.

    That’s the only way “Green” power sources are viable. By forcing the costs of regular energy so high, and making them unreliable deliberately, that the solar/wind sources are theoretically economical.

    Truth is they are NOT reliable enough to run a modern, 24/7, computer run society. No laws of physics have been repealed, they can not provide 365 days a year, 24 hours a day power with anything like 99% reliability.

    I’m straining to see these things as unrelated coincidences.

Very interesting timing.
Why would she try to do this right after the Colonial pipeline hacking?
To instill fear?
Power mongering?

    20keto20 in reply to lc. | May 14, 2021 at 8:11 am

    It’s all an effort to make the American taxpayer believe that the Infrastructure bill needs to be passed today, with all the BS in it (personal infrastructure, racial infrastructure==all that BS in the Woke definition of infrastructure). Time for a reality check!!

    UJ in reply to lc. | May 14, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Control, plain and simple. Those in charge are in charge, and those who are not in charge are most definitely not in charge. The peasants need to be reminded of that.

Whoever Trump endorses as her opponent next election is going to win.

Winning!! (But don’t say anything…. we’re in the post-Trump era waiting for the next LOTE).

    Pepsi_Freak in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 14, 2021 at 8:27 am

    If the Dems stole the Michigan elections for President and Senator in 2020, what makes you think there’ll be an honest one in 2022? Detroit is still part of Michigan, isn’t it?

      TargaGTS in reply to Pepsi_Freak. | May 14, 2021 at 9:20 am

      This is what I’m fearful of. I don’t see how Republicans are going to win close elections in any state where unverified mail-in voting is a thing particularly when that voting is happening with unsolicited ballots, as it was in MI. Republicans have to get a handle on this soon.

        UJ in reply to TargaGTS. | May 14, 2021 at 9:39 am

        Quickly this careens toward a requiring a solution outside of the ballot box.

          henrybowman in reply to UJ. | May 15, 2021 at 3:47 am

          Soap box, ballot box, jury box, cartridge box. Plenty of options already, before anyone has to think outside all of them.

      They absolutely cannot steal enough House seats to carry the day. More and more Dems and squishes are retiring, the red states picked up 9-10 seats and ( I know this is verboten around here) but Trump is still the ONLY endorsement that has clout. The ONLY one. The AZ audit (another topic that appears to be verboten around here) is about to bust wide open as is the Michigan and New Hampshire investigations. Georgia next? Wisconsin?

      Nope, It sure looks to me like the Uniparty swamp critters are up to their ear balls in alligators. The WuFlu is also working wonders lately as they finally report (even the MSM) about the shoddy “science” and political deals behind it.


    healthguyfsu in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 14, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Winning the Repub primary here in VA has become a very far cry from winning the governorship. I think McAuliffe and Northam now have a set up where they will just alternate office years indefinitely and convince NoVA to vote it in like the useful idiots that they are.

Michigan can afford competent attorneys, surely. They had to have advised her that this was governed by a treaty, What is she thinking? Who did she work a deal with?

OK off topic, and this may seem like a cheap, ad hominem-ish shot, but why does her face always looking like it’s made of plastic? Other pictures she’s shiny and smooth, this one, just unnaturally smooth. It looks like it was formed in a mold. Is she a bot? And those teeth. Never mind how she runs things. Is there anything real about this person?

    Ronbert in reply to venril. | May 14, 2021 at 8:09 am

    She is one of the Aliens we hear so much about.

    Dathurtz in reply to venril. | May 14, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    It looks like some of the digital filters all the kids are using to clean up their faces.

    henrybowman in reply to venril. | May 15, 2021 at 3:48 am

    Michigan doesn’t need to afford competent attorneys. They let Soros foot the bill, and get whatever the claw machine delivers.

Seig Heil Gretchen. You are such a good little Nazi!

    pwaldoch in reply to 20keto20. | May 14, 2021 at 8:42 am

    As a Wisconsin resident, I don’t get to vote her in or out in 2022 but she’s gonna kill a pipeline for my state for her petty ambitions? Efff that! To my brothers and sisters in Michigan, please vote this hag out of office for good! She’s taking her problems national

      smalltownoklahoman in reply to pwaldoch. | May 14, 2021 at 9:53 am

      That’s a good point, since this crosses Wisconsin too has your governor or other officials said anything about what Whitmer is trying to do?

smalltownoklahoman | May 14, 2021 at 9:47 am

Elections have consequences and this is one of them. Do you all think she would have even dared try this if Trump had gotten his second term? He would have had her arrested and brought up on charges in federal court before you could blink! But with Biden & Harris (excuse me, Harris & Biden) in office she can push and quite possibly get away with it, maybe. Since this is international and a treaty is involved pressure might mount enough that the Feds have to treat this seriously and stop her. They have to realize how ruinous it would be for Federal power and international relations in general to allow a state governor to effectively undo a treaty, even if only temporarily.

BTW how would they shut it down if Whitmer does not back down? Can it be shut down on our side if Whitmer were able to bring in her own personnel with the knowledge and expertise to do it or does that have to be done on the Canadian side of the border?

    DPtarmigan in reply to smalltownoklahoman. | May 14, 2021 at 10:23 am

    I wondered the same thing — how would she shut it down? I assume there is a shiny red button on our side.

    I hope she does it. It would be awesome the see the fallout over this and force Biden to come out of his basement to stop her.

      smalltownoklahoman in reply to DPtarmigan. | May 14, 2021 at 11:06 am

      The only other thing I can think of that she might do is threaten to fine and/or imprison people from the pipeline for every day it stays in operation after her shutdown order. Hmmm, more likely fines as imprisonment brings in the lawyers and with a case like this that’s a legal hot potato even she might not want to take on.

Fat_Freddys_Cat | May 14, 2021 at 9:53 am

Ha, Michigan’s own Dolores Umbridge. Hem hem Dolores tell me: if the pipeline is shut down what’s your plan for moving the oil? The need for it won’t magically disappear.

I’m reading a book called Hitler’s Furies. It’s about the German women who took part in the atrocities committed on the Eastern Front during WWII.

I can’t help but think that if Frau Whitmer had existed in that time and place, she would have fit right in.

Frau Whitmer
She-male she devil of the SS
And I’m sir she had many a relative in the Einsatzgruppen

    henrybowman in reply to avi natan. | May 15, 2021 at 3:50 am

    Ugh. At least nominate somebody who wouldn’t look entirely disgusting in the obligatory vinyl catsuit.

This woman is a lunatic. Don’t you Michiganders have any sense of pride? If so, you need to get rid of this beastly woman. She’s an out of control dictator. Fire her!

How is it that Biden could cancel the new pipeline with a stoke of a pen when it had President Trump’s approval. Once the pipeline was approved the companies involved spent billions and that is flushed down the toilet without justification.

    puhiawa in reply to ConradCA. | May 14, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    He can’t. And if the Federal courts were not seemingly controlled by Democrats that argument would be over in hours. But Obama Judges are real, and Roberts and Kavanaugh’s complete obedience to Kagan is also real. They are are cowards and are likely being extorted. Roberts with something from the past, Kavanaugh is terrified of bad press and the left wing mob. He is now being groomed by Kagan according to SCOTUS lawyers. He will desert the Constitution this year.

RandomCrank | May 14, 2021 at 3:43 pm

This is the same governor who closed her state’s nurseries during the spring 2020 planting season. As someone who lives on 20 acres with two big gardens, that bit of stupidity got not only my attention but the attention of the nurseries I visit every spring.

Now she wants to shut off Michigan’s oil? Great. Let her. See how that works out.

We could use an honest attorney general.

Whitmer paid just $855 for private Florida flights; nonprofit kicked in $27,000 recently

Whitmer Leads Chief Craig by 6 Points in Poll for Michigan Governor

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer leads Detroit Police Chief James Craig by 6 points — 48 percent to 42 percent — in a race for governor in 2022, according to a poll released Thursday.

The poll, commissioned by MIRS News and conducted by Target Insyght, also shows Whitmer leading Republican John James 49 to 39 percent. The poll has an error of margin of 3.5 percent.

This woman has shown countless signs that she is near insane. Don’t others see it?

Seems to me that since this pipeline crosses Wisconsin that state can sue Michigan which takes it right into federal court, indeed, I think it takes it straight to SCOTUS. Worst comes to worst and Canada sues The US over a treaty violation and it go’s to The International Court of Justice in The Hague so unless Silver Alert Joe want’s to take this up in the UN then Cruella Whitmer is posturing for the green vote in 2022.