Lest We Forget

Ever heard of Enbridge? Unless you’re someone who has thought about preserving clean water for future generations, or keep stocks in oil, probably not. 

Enbridge is a multinational pipeline and energy company with headquarters in Canada. It owns and operates pipelines in Canada and the United States, transporting crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.

It was Enbridge’s broken pipeline that caused the largest inland oil spill in our history. On July 25, 2010 at least 1 million gallons of bitumen, thick crude oil, leaked into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. 

Closer to home, Enbridge’s system includes Line 5, which travels 645 miles and passes under the Strait of Mackinac. With a history of unleashing environmental damage in its 50 years; the pipeline has spilled 33 times, leaking 1.1 million gallons of oil.  And in Minnesota, the collusion between Enbridge and law enforcement over Line 3’s damaging construction is reminiscent of Standing Rock. Arrests and discrimination mount on Water Protectors while polluters escape justice. 

I know the numbers of spills are dizzying and seemingly endless, as are the promises to never let it happen again. Also spectacular are the millions in fines assigned to the company – which brings no solace to environments destroyed by Enbridge’s negligence. 

All of this is readily available to those who care to dig a bit. The links I have shared here are but a few. Don’t expect mainstream media to cough up too much truth and the Biden administration has already outpaced Trump in the numbers of offshore drilling permits granted. Most of the work to track Enbridges’ trail of destruction are led by Indigenous organizations like Honor the Earth. Or grassroots organizations: Environmental Defense, Stop Line 3, and Oil and Water Don’t Mix, to name a few.

So it comes down to this, my friends, we can go on living as though this finite earth can and will sustain our assaults, or we can pull up our big pants and tackle the hard truths in front of us. Reduce consumption. Transition to renewables. Support the people on the ground fighting the corporate elites. It’s time.

Photo: Tania Aubid of the Milles Band of Ojibwe holds a bullet-riddled sign opposing the Enbridge Line 3 project in February 2021. The sign had been in front of her home. (Photo by Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today)