“Fair and consistent”?

Sep 28, 2012 by

Here at the Line 6B Citizens’ Blog, we pride ourselves on being calm, rational, and reasonable– even though this is a very emotional issue. We’re talking about disruptions to people’s homes and lives here, after all. But every once in a while, something gets us hopping mad. This morning, that something is Christopher Behnan’s latest story in the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. What’s got us worked up and fuming? Well, it’s not just that we empathize with the Nash family (although we certainly do; the clock is ticking on many of our beloved trees as well). And it’s not Behnam’s reporting, which we’ve quibbled with a bit in the past (in fact, despite those quibbles, we’re quite grateful that he has stayed on the story– unlike, say, the hapless Oakland Press). No....

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Livingston county condemnation hearings

Sep 27, 2012 by

Those keeping up with news and events here and elsewhere know that Enbridge has been spending a lot of time lately suing Michigan landowners in court. We’ve been reporting on these condemnation hearings as best we can, especially on a few cases in Oakland County. But the past few days, all the action has been over in Livingston County. And unfortunately, Livingston makes it much more difficult to get a hold of court records than does Oakland. What’s more, the judge in the recent hearings, Judge Hatty, appears to prefer ruling from the bench, rather than in writing. We can, however, say this much: the news out of Livingston is mixed. In the cases that have come before him, Judge Hatty has ruled that Enbridge’s easement language (the part we’ve discussed before, which says...

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On Enbridge’s “open and honest dealings,” Part 4...

Sep 27, 2012 by

We thought we were done with our series on Enbridge spokesman Larry Springer’s outrageous statement a couple of weeks back. You remember: Springer insisted that Enbridge’s actions show that they deal openly and honestly with stakeholders, despite what those pesky “special interest groups” and their compatriots in the media who just want to stir up controversy would have you believe. We took exception with that statement (again and again). We think we made our point quite clearly (and factually). We were prepared to give it a rest for a while. But then examples of not-so-open and not-so-honest dealings by Enbridge just keep coming. Here’s a recent one:   Two weeks ago, on Sept. 13, Enbridge agreed to a “workshop” with the Brandon Township Board of Trustees. It was a rare opportunity for local officials...

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What’s Enbridge doing in Capac?

Sep 26, 2012 by

We just came across a very interesting little story in the small Tri-City Times newspaper, covering the eastern part of the state (the area around Imlay City, Almont, Capac and Dryden). Some sort of Enbridge pipeline construction activity or preparation appears to be taking place in Capac. That’s very near portions of the Line 6B pipeline that Enbridge plans to replace in phase two of their project– the phase for which they do not yet have MPSC approval. Therefore, it’s not clear what’s going on over there– and evidently Enbridge isn’t saying. We’re...

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Michigan legislators still behind the curve

Sep 26, 2012 by

A while back we linked to the disturbing story explaining how dilbit is exempt from the federal tax that helps fund the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund– the fund used to cover cleanup costs of oil spills like the one in Marshall in 2010. What that means is that Enbridge did not pay taxes on all that bitumen they dumped into Talmadge Creek. Yet they nevertheless drew money–more than $40 million– from the Trust Fund to help pay for the cleanup (they are supposed to pay it back). But just this week came news of proposed legislation that would close the dilbit exemption (and more). The Tar Sands Tax Loophole Elimination Act, introduced by three Democrats, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, would ensure that tar sands is...

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Enbridge to visit Livingston County commissioners

Sep 25, 2012 by

Enbridge– in the form of spokesman Joe Martucci; we don’t know about any others– will be at tomorrow morning’s Livingston County commissioners’ meeting. Time will be set aside for public remarks. We won’t be able to attend, but we urge anyone who can to do so– and to speak. Tell your story and ask questions. Or, if you aren’t sure what to say, our archives are jam-packed with information and unanswered questions. Feel free to use whatever you find here! Based on our experience, we’d have low expectations for anything helpful or productive coming out of the meeting, but it is vitally important to let your local officials know that their citizens have not been dealt with openly and honestly and fairly by Enbridge– because you can be sure that Enbridge is telling them...

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Michigan Radio on condemnations

Sep 25, 2012 by

Rebecca Williams of Michigan Radio’s Environment Report has a story today about condemnation hearings in Livingston County. Read or listen...

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Two more condemnation suits dismissed

Sep 24, 2012 by

As we reported earlier today, two more of Enbridge’s condemnation suits were dismissed this morning. Last week, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge James M. Alexander dismissed an Enbridge suit, ruling that their “good faith offer”– a requirement prior to any taking– was defective, since it included language claiming “use beyond that allowable under the Michigan Public Service Commission Order approving [Enbridge’s] application.” This morning, Judge Phyllis C. McMillen likewise accepted the defendant’s argument regarding the same Enbridge overreach. Judge McMillen puts it this way:   [Enbridge’s] good-faith offer is defective. The language in the proposed easement permits Enbridge to transport not just crude oil and petroleum and its derivatives, but also “any material or substance that can be conveyed through a pipeline or, over, under and across a strip of land.” The “good-faith offer”...

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