The latest from Brandon

Nov 30, 2012 by

Oh, boy. Stuff’s happening. Which means we’ve got a lot to write about. Not least, we need to bring some much-needed perspective to the latest remarks from Enbridge’s new PR duo Stephen Wuori and Thomas Hodge. They say some things to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus that almost curled our hair. More on that this morning.

We also finally received a gracious and reasonably detailed reply from Enbridge’s Terri Larson to our question about features of the new pipeline that exceed federal regulations. She promised answers and she got them to us– which is much more than Tom Hodge can say. So we are very much appreciative to Terri for these efforts. Unlike with Hodge, knowing the ins and outs of the projects technical specifications ins’t really her job. Anyway, we’re scrutinizing her response and seeking input from some of our smart friends who know a lot more about this than we do. Stay tuned for more on that.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s also news out of Brandon Tonwship. We attended a meeting at the township offices last night. Well, it was a closed session meeting, so we sat in an empty room chatting with Jeff Axt. Our hope was that the board would emerge and renew their resolution to take whatever legal steps necessary to enforce Township ordinances and Michigan state laws. However, this is a new board and, as we sort of expected, they’re playing it a bit cautious. So instead of either joining or intervening in the POLAR suit, now in state court, they’re going to have a meeting with Enbridge– again (sigh!).

That meeting is scheduled for this Monday, Dec. 3. We will, of course, be there. But we mentioned to the new board last night that while a meeting is theoretically a good thing, the Township has been down this road before (as have we, in a myriad of ways). Based on that experience, what will happen is fairly predictable: Enbridge will show up, smile, talk about working together and being good neighbors; they’ll say lots of pleasing-sounding things; they’ll try and make it look like they really do want to work with the Township; they’ll also patronize and condescend (because they can’t help it)– and then they’ll leave and continue to try and do whatever it is they want. In fact, what’s so irksome about these “meetings” is that even if we were to believe that they are good-faith efforts on the part of Enbridge to work something out with Brandon, the fact is that they are treating local ordinances and state laws as if they are things that can be negotiated. And that in itself is offensive.

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