ET Rover Meets with Officials, not the Public

Oct 12, 2014 by

The ET Rover news in the last week or so has not been good. First, Lapeer prosecutors performed some very shoddy legal research which led them to issue a misinformed, Rover-friendly memo regarding Rover’s right to survey. Our guess is that some crafty ET Rover lawyer whispered some sweet legal nothings in the prosecutor’s ear, seducing him into adopting Rover’s (mistaken, we believe) view of the law. Meanwhile, some ET Rover executives had a sit down this week with some local officials and state representatives. At a meeting at the Groveland Township offices (that’s our township), ET Rover officials met with a half dozen township supervisors, State Senator Dave Robertson, and State Representative Joseph Graves. According to Groveland Supervisor Bob DePalma, ET refused to hold a public meeting. Frankly, that’s unsurprising: refusing to communicate openly with the...

read more

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...

read more

Pipeline Safety Task Force Announced

Jun 27, 2014 by

Now, here’s a coincidence: the very same week that Energy Transfer Partners announced a massive new pipeline construction project that will affect a large number of Michigan citizens– including, evidently, many Line 6B landowners– state officials announced the formation of a new pipeline safety task force. You might think that’s good news– and at first glance, we thought so too. But then we saw who is on that task force, or rather, who is NOT on it. The task force is made up entirely of representative of the very agencies that have thus far failed to protect landowners, municipalities, and the environment. Frankly, it’s outrageous. For that reason, just this morning, we sent the letter below to Attorney General Schuette and Michigan DEQ Director Dan Wyant. Please feel free to share. — Dear Mr. Wyant...

read more

“Life Amongst the Tar Sands” (Video)

Apr 14, 2014 by

As some of you know, we were fortunate enough to participate in a forum about tar sands oil development in the Great Lakes Region a couple of weeks ago. Organized by our friend, fellow Line 6B landowner, and Notre Dame University professor Patricia Maurice and hosted by the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. Patricia and I were joined by MSU’s Steve Hamilton, who has been a consultant on the Kalamazoo River cleanup, and Beth Wallace, who you surely know by now. Each of us presented for 15 or so minutes and then we took questions from a wonderful and wonderfully-engaged audience. We thought the event was a smashing success. The room was full and the audience interested, each of my fellow panelists was smart, passionate, and informative. We were even...

read more

2013 Year in Review, Part 2

Jan 2, 2014 by

Welcome to 2014 everybody! In the spirit of the New Year, we’re taking a bit of time to look back by counting down our Top Ten posts of the year that just was. If you missed the bottom five, you can read about them here. But just to recap them quickly: 10. Line 6B Earns Pulitzer Prize 9. Pet Coke 8. Red Herrings 7. How Not to Write About Line 6B 6. IJNR Kalamazoo River Institute Now on to the final five: 5. PHMSA. Last summer, we were lucky enough to be invited by the National Wildlife Federation to participate in a lobbying “fly-in” to ask some of our elected officials to support the NWF petition seeking some new rules on pipeline safety from PHMSA. We also wanted to meet with PHMSA officials themselves, but...

read more

Call to action

Jul 9, 2013 by

Dearest Line 6B readers, Wanna get involved? This week, you’ve got two opportunities. Check them out: At noon on Sunday (July 14th), “Oil and Water Don’t Mix: A Rally for the Great Lakes” will be held at Bridge Park in St. Ignace (just over the Mackinac Bridge). The rally is to call attention to the dangerous aging pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge that runs under the straits of Mackinac. Our friend (and official hero!) Beth Wallace has worked very hard to bring attention to this serious threat to the health of the Great Lakes. And 350.org founder Bill McKibben will the be the keynote speaker at the rally. If you’ve got time and want to take a drive up the the beautiful bridge, please try to attend. More details can be found here. (And...

read more

News roundup: beyond 6B

Apr 1, 2013 by

While not directly about Line 6B matters, we’ve encountered a number of tangentially-related material the past couple of days deserving of your attention, not least of which are some follow-ups to the awful spill in Arkansas, a terrible, vivid reminder of why all of us should be deeply concerned and continue to speak up and help foster public discussion of pipeline safety. Some of our favorite journalists are on the case. Over at her “Riding the Pipelines” blog, Elana Schor provides some interesting— and disturbingly familiar to those who have read the NTSB report on Marshall–background on Exxon’s safety record with regard to the Pegasus line that just burst. And Lisa Song, who has evidently been extraordinarily busy the past few days, has a terrific article at Inside Climate News linking the Arkansas spill...

read more

MPSC fails again

Mar 6, 2013 by

A couple of weeks ago, we wrapped up our series on the woeful effort the Michigan Public Service Commission puts forth to protect the public interest. We noted the shallow analysis provided by their staff; the staff attorney’s vigorous efforts on behalf of Enbridge; the past work on behalf of industry performed by the Administrative Law Judge; the snide, hostile tone toward citizen intervenors taken by the Commission’s final ruling, and– perhaps worst of all– the way that the Commission (enabled by the ALJ) essentially allowed Enbridge, a foreign corporation, to re-write Michigan law. It’s an appalling state of affairs, in our view. And while we realize the regulatory matters aren’t the sexiest topic in the world, we think this is a tremendously important story. It’s regrettable that it’s not the sort of story...

read more