Washington Weekly: May 12, 2021

Washington Weekly: May 12, 2021

Quick Hits

Michigan Impact

If you’re following environmental issues in Michigan right now, you’ve probably seen that today, May 12, 2021, is the deadline by which Enbridge Energy must shut down the Line 5 pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac (per Governor Whitmer’s November shutdown order). While much has been made of the devastating risks the pipeline poses to over 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and a legal battle over continued operation of Line 5 continues, there has been less attention given to the very real climate impacts of Line 5 and the proposed tunnel.

The consensus of oil pipelines contributing to carbon emissions has been growing, however, and in April, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) ruled that climate change considerations may be included in Enbridge’s Line 5 permit hearing. This historic ruling means that, for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions will be included in a review under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act.

Despite today’s deadline, Enbridge has vowed to defy the order and continue to operate the pipeline illegally beyond midnight tonight. On Tuesday, Governor Whitmer threatened to seize Enbridge’s profits if they continue to defy the order.

For more on Line 5, watch this video outlining 5 things you need to know about the shutdown, and check out Michigan LCV’s most recent People, Planet, Public Health webinar about Line 5. Also, if you’re so included, it’s not too late to sign up for socially distant rally events tomorrow calling on Enbridge to shut down the pipeline.

Our New (Climate) Normal

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its new “climate normals” last week based on three decades of data related to temperature, precipitation, and other variables from locations across the country. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. has gotten hotter every 30 years since 1900, and much more drastically so in the past 30 years. See how much hotter your hometown is today than when you were born

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