Lake Effect EF! (LEEF!) demonstrated @ Nestle’s Ice Mountain bottling plant on June 11th in Stanwood MI, the hometown of Marius Mason.
Marius had organized with Sweetwater Alliance against Nestle’s bottling plant and water wells in Mecosta County, as well as the water shut offs in Detroit in the early 2000’s.
Nestle is currently seeking a permit to increase their withdrawal at White Pine Springs Well #101 from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute.
Additionally water shut offs continue in Detroit with 19,000 residents currently losing their access to water. Bottled water has also been utilized as a false solution to the Flint Water Crisis. Rather than being solutions, privatization and water table depletion will only continue to create more ecological and social problems.
We stand in solidarity with Marius and all long term anarchist
prisoners. UNTIL ALL ARE FREE!
On May 16th, Another long and heated Kalamazoo County Commission meeting preceded a vote to pass a resolution in favor of shutting down Enbridge Line
During the Comission of the Whole meeting at 3pm Enbridge Energy’s Manager of Community Relations, Jason Manshum, presented the case in favor of Line 5. He was invited to present to the Commission by Commissioner Gisler, who was absent. Kent County Water Conservation’s Stephanie Mabie presented many damning facts about Line 5 and encouraged Commissioners to vote in favor of the resolution.
One would think that County Commission meetings are pretty boring, mild mannered, and “orderly”- especially with issues as small as resolutions. This particular resolution has caused not only for the chambers of the commissioner’s to host intense debate, but also created a local media frenzy. In 2010, Enbridge Energy’s Line 6bv (now line 78), spilled 1 million gallons of tar sand oil into the Kalamazoo River. The company did not react or respond to the loss of pressure in the pipeline for 17 hours before shutting off the flow of oil. The spill contaminated the bed and shores of the river in Calhoun County and Kalamazoo County. Enbridge attempted to cover up the spill, and were caught in a lie. They were eventually forced to actually clean up what they could, bringing total costs and fines up to well over $1 billion.
When the resolution was to be voted on the first time, the Kalamazoo County Commissioner’s chose to remove the resolution from the agenda due to fears of missing out on a $47,000 grant from Enbridge Energy, as described by the agenda and commission chair, Dale Shugar, during the meeting in early April. This fanned the flames for supporters of the resolution, whose numbers continued to swell at each meeting. Nearly 2 hours of public comment were given on the night of May 16, as well as during previous meetings. No one opposed to the resolution gave an in person comment during the process.
During the recess between the Commission of the Whole meeting and the Public Meeting, a loud argument broke out between a city commissioner and a county commissioner outside in front of the Kalamazoo County Building. There are plenty of other places documenting that fued, let’s not give them much attention here.
The vote came up around 10:45 PM. The resolution went from not having enough support to bring to a vote, to passing with a 7-3 vote. Commissioner Quinn, who introduced the document said it was the peoples commitment that swung the vote.
On the evening of Tuesday, April 18, dozens of residents came out to support a Kalamazoo County resolution to shut down Enbridge Line 5. Line 5 is corroding in the open waters of the Straits of Mackinac and is widely recognized as a potential source of a devastating oil spill. As both wild and domestic riparian communities within the county suffered from the impacts of the 2010 Enbridge tar sands spill in the Kalamazoo River, this meeting saw nearly 2 hours of passionate public comment.
Most of the attendees at the meeting had come to here the presentation and discussion of the resolution. Instead, they found out it had been removed from the agenda due to a strategy formulated around political party lines. The democrats felt that since they were one person short, they would wait to present the resolution on a later date. This was the second delay experienced by advocates of the resolution. The board’s chair, Dale Shugar, prevented the resolution from being presented at the April 4th meeting. (see resolution at bottom of story)
The board hears public comments at the beginning of the meeting (7 pm); but by 8 pm people were shaming commissioners, sending them warnings, as well as demanding answers. During one residents’ comments about the terminal illness they were diagnosed with after spending time on the oil laden river, the audience grew its courage to defy orders from Dale Shugar to maintain quorum and began cheering as people gave their statements. As a local women declared, ” if you sit on this board and stand against (the resolution to shut down line 5) you are an enemy of this community”, people whooped, hollered, banged on chairs and walls to show their approval for the dissenting words. Shugars hastily called a recess, which lasted for 15 or 20 minutes. The Republicans retreated to a back room, while the Democratic commissioners came out to talk to crowd. They said things such as how everyone in the crowd needs to do a better job at educating the entire board about Line 5 and that their 5-4 party line vote strategy should be respected. This was met with a mixture of approval and open disapproval.
The regular meeting was able to resume sometime around 9 pm after the recess was over and the second round of public comment was completed.
Why did continuous disruptions occur about a symbolic statement? During this same meeting another agenda item was not kicked down the road. The County Board of Commissioners had another Enbridge discussion scheduled. It was proposed that they get a grant for $47,000 from Enbridge to enable the Sheriffs Department to patrol the river. (see document below)
Twice now has this board delayed the resolution, and the anti-Line 5 crowd more than doubled this time. People are showing their determination to neither be be bought nor sold on this issue. We don’t need Enbridge money, we need the Great Lakes. We need to stand with communities along Line 5 to prevent the experience we endured in 2010.
On the morning of April, 3rd, two new roadside attractions cast shame on Attorney General Bill Schuette in recognizing the potential for an ecologically devastating oil spill in the Straits of Mackinaw.
We want to call the public’s attention to the broken Treaty of 1836. Enbridge Line 5 severely threatens Tribal Fishing Rights and tribes were never consulted about Line 5 before or during it’s construction in 1953.
Attorney General Bill Schuette’s unwillingness to protect the Great Lakes from another oil spill is a grave threat to the ecology of the Great Lakes Basin. We expect this business as usual form of negligence from Enbridge and Governor Snyder, but shame on you Bill Schuette.
On Monday, March 13th more than 250 people from the Great Lakes Basin convened in Lansing, Mi to support the Great Lakes and demand the shut down of Enbridge Line 5. Enbridge presented information about the anti-corrosive coating that is missing in 18 segments of the twin pipes in the Straits of Mackinaw- this information defined the day.
Prior to the meeting, the Great Lakes Sturgeons Cheer Team and Color Guard held a pep rally in support of the Great Lakes as they endure these games being played by Attorney General Bill Schuette and Governor Rick Snyder. Sturgeons fans rallied with chants, cheers, and a special appearance by the Sturgeon General. A game day program was distributed, feel free to access it here- sturgeon v oilers(1)
Enbridge Oilers mascot Charlie “The Oil” Sheen was not present, but offers these words:
“I’m an Oilers fan, man- show me some love! I poisoned the rivers and I killed the dove! If we can kill all existence, there can be no more resistance!”
The pep rally became excited and further energized when it saw the arrival of a full charter bus and two large vans organized by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa.
It was a sold out game with standing room only when The Great Lakes Sturgeons went head to head against rival Enbridge Oilers at the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) meeting. During the Oilers presentation, aggressive heckling ensued. Oilers forward Kurt Barenieki could be seen physically shaking while giving Enbridge’s presentation. Kurt was continuously heckled, called out, and fact checked during his presentation. “Remember the Kalamazoo” “Shut Down Line 5” and other lines echoed off of the picture frames containing images of the Great Lakes in the meeting room.
During this play, a flag was thrown by the board’s co-chair Valerie Brader. The rowdy crowd was shooshed by state officials and fellow attendees alike. This power play gave Barenieki his platform and he was able to finish his presentation. After more heckling and questions from the board, Barenieki headed back to the bench.
Score: Sturgeons- 1 Oilers- 1.
The public comment period was extended for an extra hour due to the high volume of “public participants”. In all, 260 public comments were submitted on site along with more than two hours of verbal comments- during which Sturgeon fans became rowdier when a man and his grandson showed the officials what an oil spill would look like. The PSAB had only scheduled 30 minutes for public participation, but due to pressure before and during the meeting, conceded to running the meeting late. The meeting ended as rowdy as it began, resulting in Enbridge Oilers representatives and Public Relations unable to conduct interviews with the press as they were “escorted out of the back door by security”.
The Sturgeons had a great victory today, but the Oilers domination continues. The 64 year old pipeline could burst any day due to a combination of corrosion, strong currents in the Straits, and general negligence on Enbridge’s behalf.
Although the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board has no authority to shut down Line 5, and is very much a stall and delay strategy in the games being played by Rick Snyder and Bill Schuette, these meetings expose Enbridge’s enormous threat to the ecology of the Great Lakes. Enbridge will be met with die hard Sturgeon fans at the next board meeting this June when the PSAB is expected to give it’s opinion of Line 5. In the mean time, Bill Schuette and Rick Snyder can expect to hear from Sturgeon fans as they try to recruit the state officials as enforcers. If this recruitment campaign fails- the two power brokers, along with Enbridge, will be in for a long hot summer.