About that Pipeline Secrecy Bill…

Jul 1, 2015 by

We hope everyone is enjoying the summer. We certainly are, which is why we’ve been (more than) a little neglectful of the blog of late. We hope you’ll forgive us! Readers of this blog are probably aware of a certain anniversary that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. We’ll be remembering also. If you’re in the area, you should try to make the event. And while you’re pondering that dark part of Michigan’s history, you might take a moment to think about how we can prevent such a thing from happening ever again. That’s a heavy task, but we can tell you one thing that won’t help: less transparency from pipeline companies. We’re reminded of this because of a baffling recent post from our friends up at the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner...

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Stop the Enbridge-Rover Secrecy Law

May 9, 2015 by

Imagine a law that says that Enbridge or ET Rover is not required to disclose to you basic facts or details about the pipeline that runs through your backyard. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? And yet, that is exactly the law that the Michigan legislature is trying to pass. According to House Bill 4540, basic information “about the production, generation, transportation, transmission, or distribution of fuel or energy” would be exempt from Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act. That means, potentially, that the pipeline company that has access to your property — a company like Enbridge or Vector or Rover– would not have to tell you what materials are getting pumped through the pipeline on your property, where that product is going, or what plans the company has in the event that the pipeline ruptures on your property. In fact,...

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Rover Suing Landowners

Apr 13, 2015 by

We knew it would come to this. MLive is reporting today that Rover is suing landowners in Washtenaw over their right to survey. This is a matter we discussed in some detail months ago. Rover’s actions here are bad enough: they continue to fail to cultivate good relations with landowners in Michigan. Just as bad, however, is Michigan attorney John DeVries, who seems to want to pretend that there is something unusual here, that landowners who are refusing to grant permission are extremists and outliers: DeVries said the cases are a rarity in his career of about 40 years working on about 20 pipeline projects. “This is the first time, on one pipeline project of many that I’ve worked on, where surveyor permission had been denied,” DeVries said. Frankly, we’re not buying it. Either that...

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Breaking: Lapeer Prosecutors Roll Over for Rover

Oct 8, 2014 by

Over the past few years, we’ve grown accustomed to Michigan public officials’ willingness to allow pipeline companies to have their way with Michigan citizens. We can’t for the life of us understand why so many of our politicians and regulators seem so much more interested in protecting out-of-state corporations rather than the citizens they have been elected (or appointed) to serve. But we fear that the pattern is continuing with ET Rover. Have ANY officials other than township supervisors stepped up to support and assist the landowners in their districts? The latest instance of this failure of leadership in Michigan comes from Lapeer County Prosecutor Tim Turkelson who has apparently decided to weigh in on the thorny survey question that has been the source of controversy over the past couple of weeks. According to the Lapeer County...

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Is ET Rover Breaking the Law?

Oct 4, 2014 by

There’s been a lot of news about ET Rover this week, owing to an unfortunate incident in which their survey crews entered or tried to enter the properties of some landowners without permission, in one case sparking a potentially dangerous confrontation. It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this, though it was also probably inevitable. ET Rover’s ham-handed dealings with landowners have done nothing but fuel the understandable frustration and anger of landowners. We hate to say “we told you so,” but several months ago, we told ET Rover that the industry’s thoughtless routine ways of communicating with landowners were not going to go over well here in southeast Michigan. They clearly did not listen to us. At the center of this week’s story, however, is a legal question that we’ve addressed, though only briefly, before. ET...

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Enbridge’s Latest Dirty Trick

Sep 28, 2014 by

Enbridge is up to some dirty tricks. Before we explain, we need to share something positive. A few months back, we had some fairly serious problems on our property related to pipeline construction that needed to be addressed. After more phone calls and emails than should have been necessary, we finally touched base with our land agent, who took up our concerns, called in the restoration contractors to see what could be done to resolve our problems, and followed through on resolving the issues. Because of those contractors in particular, it turned out to be one of the best, if not the best, experiences we’ve had with Enbridge since this project began. That new restoration contractor is Bowman’s Excavating. A while ago, we’d heard some good things about Bowman’s from some of our fellow landowners. We’re glad to report that we,...

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MI CATS Convicted

Jan 31, 2014 by

We just received word that the Michigan Cats protestors have been convicted on all counts. We are angered and saddened by the news. More coming...

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MI CATS on Trial

Jan 30, 2014 by

We’ve been caught up with some matters not directly related to Enbridge (though not completely unrelated either!). Some companion legislation to a bill giving tax breaks for oil and gas development proposes to eliminate some protections for property owners subject to condemnation when a pipeline company comes a-calling. That should sound familiar to folks along the Line 6B route. We know first hand how the kind of disregard a pipeline company can have for landowners. At the very least, if our state is going to encourage the building of more pipelines–and we’re not convinced at all that that’s a good idea– protections for property owners should be considerably stronger, not weaker. So if you haven’t already, please take a moment to contact your House representative and register your objection to HB 5254. But that’s...

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