The federal authorities will not let Michigan shut down the Line 5 pipeline, Canada’s pure sources minister mentioned Thursday as he dismissed opposition comparisons to the thwarted Keystone XL venture.
Seamus O’Regan sounded virtually combative as he vowed to defend the 1,000-kilometre line, which bridges an environmentally delicate a part of the Great Lakes to hyperlink Wisconsin with refineries in Sarnia, Ont.
“We are fighting for Line 5 on every front and we are confident in that fight,” O’Regan instructed a particular House of Commons committee on the connection between Canada and the United States.
The Enbridge Inc. pipeline carries an estimated 540,000 barrels of oil and pure gasoline liquids every day, and is significant to the vitality and employment wants of Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, in addition to northern U.S. states, he added.
“We are fighting on a diplomatic front, and we are preparing to invoke whatever measures we need to in order to make sure that Line 5 remains operational,” he mentioned. “The operation of Line 5 is non-negotiable.”
In November, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Line 5 to be shut down by May, accusing Calgary-based Enbridge of violating the phrases of the deal that enables the road to traverse the underside of the Straits of Mackinac.
The straits, which hyperlink Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, boast highly effective, quickly altering currents that specialists have mentioned make the world the worst attainable place for an oil spill within the Great Lakes.
Pipeline opponents within the U.S. — most of the similar voices who helped make TC Energy’s proposed Keystone XL growth an environmental rallying level over the past decade — have vowed to see it shut down.
Enbridge, which has plans to fortify the underwater section of the road by routing it by a tunnel underneath the lake mattress, is combating Whitmer’s order in courtroom.
Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., mentioned Michigan’s considerations over Line 5 predate Whitmer and have been a subject of frequent dialogue for embassy officers since 2017.
Diplomats and governments will play a task to find an answer, however resolving the dispute will possible come all the way down to the state authorities and Enbridge, she urged.
“Line 5 is a crucial piece of energy infrastructure for Canada, but also for the United States — that is a core and principal message that we’re giving,” Hillman instructed the committee. She echoed O’Regan’s factors concerning the potential impression not solely on Canada, however on Michigan and Ohio as properly, noting that the pipeline has been working safely for greater than half a century.
“We support, full-throatedly and very actively, the continuous safe operation of that pipeline,” Hillman mentioned. “The solution to this will come about through diplomatic and advocacy means, but it will also come about through negotiations between the company and the governor of the territory through which it’s going.”
O’Regan ‘assured’ Line 5 will stay open
O’Regan was unequivocal Thursday when requested if he believes the governor’s considerations have any advantage.
“No, I do not,” he replied. “This is a safe pipeline, it has always been a safe pipeline (and) the owner is taking further measures to make sure it has continued safe operation.”
O’Regan additionally took pains to insist he stays “confident” that Enbridge and Michigan will attain an settlement to permit the road to proceed to function earlier than Whitmer’s drop-dead date in May.
Conservative MP Mark Strahl famous that the federal authorities had failed to stop U.S. President Joe Biden from cancelling Keystone XL, and pressed O’Regan on how the plan for Line 5 is totally different.
“It sounds an awful lot like the plan to advocate for Line 5 is a carbon copy of the plan to advocate for Keystone XL,” Strahl mentioned. “Why are you expecting a different result?”
“These are very different,” O’Regan mentioned as he defended the federal Liberal efforts on Keystone XL, which Biden cancelled on his first day within the White House.
He additionally mentioned he made Canada’s case for each pipelines to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm when the 2 spoke for the primary time on Wednesday.