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10/25/2021

Protesters temporarily shut Enbridge Line 5

Enbridge voluntarily halted the flow of crude as a cautionary measure.
Kelly Gray
Editor, Octane
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Exterior of Enbridge Inc. oil pump station at the Straits of Mackinaw. The company transports nearly two thirds of Canada's crude oil exports to the US.
Exterior of Enbridge Inc. oil pump station at the Straits of Mackinaw. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Enbridge Inc. shut down its Line 5 oil pipeline for several hours last week after Michigan protesters trespassed and tampered with the pipeline.

Reports tell that an anti-pipeline protester operated a safety valve at the Enbridge facility in Michigan. The Enbridge facility is part of a supply chain that delivers 540,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario.

The group, Resist Line 3 Media Collective, accessed the site, and notified Enbridge of the breach before turning the valve and reading a statement. Enbridge voluntarily halted the flow of crude as a cautionary measure. The site was back online shortly after the demonstration. Enbridge reports customers were not impacted.

Line 5 is at the core of a dispute between Canada and the U.S. over pipeline crude distribution. The state of Michigan has sought to halt the operation of the pipeline over concerns a section running below water in the Straits of Mackinac could leak. Enbridge has ignored Michigan’s order pointing to a treaty between Canada and the U.S. that protects pipeline traffic.