Advertisement

Canada invokes 1977 treaty to keep Enbridge Line 5 oil flowing

Canada invokes a 1977 treaty, for the second time in a year, forcing the United States to negotiate to keep the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline open. Photo courtesy of Enbridge
Canada invokes a 1977 treaty, for the second time in a year, forcing the United States to negotiate to keep the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline open. Photo courtesy of Enbridge

Aug. 30 (UPI) -- For the second time in a year, Canada is invoking a 1977 treaty forcing the United States to negotiate to keep the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline open or face "significant" economic damage if it shuts down.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly announced the invocation of the treaty Tuesday to ensure oil will continue flowing while officials negotiate.

Advertisement

"The economic and energy disruption and damage to Canada and the U.S. from a Line 5 shutdown would be widespread and significant," Joly said in a statement. "This would impact energy prices, such as propane for heating homes and the price of gas at the pump."

The 645-mile pipeline, which runs through Michigan and was built in 1953, has been a source of contention over fears it could leak and damage the environment around the Great Lakes. While there have been no leaks, the pipeline has been struck by boat anchors and cables.

RELATED Industry defends controversial Michigan oil pipeline

Calgary-based Enbridge insists the pipeline is safe and has told Michigan lawmakers the company plans to build a new tunnel to contain the aging pipeline. The company has also promised to reroute Line 5 around the Bad River reservation.

Advertisement

Canada invoked the 1977 treaty, which governs the free flow of oil between Canada and the United States, in November after mediation with Michigan failed and moved to the national level. The negotiations are in response to court cases in Wisconsin, where Line 5 runs along the southwestern shores of Lake Superior before crossing into Michigan. An Indigenous group in Wisconsin argues Enbridge no longer has the right to operate on its territory.

Canada, which relies on the pipeline for its energy needs, is working to avoid a shutdown.

RELATED Enbridge: Michigan oil pipeline needs reinforcement

"Canada is committed to working constructively to find a solution that responds to the interests of communities, respects Canada's rights under the treaty and ensures the continued and safe supply of energy to central Canada," Joly said.

Canada's natural resources minister warned last year that shutting down the pipeline could cost thousands of jobs and require 800 tanker rail cars and 2,000 trucks a day to move oil.

Joly warned Tuesday of the "domino effects" of a shutdown that could impact communities on both sides of the border.

RELATED Minnesota oil pipeline moving ahead

"At a time when global inflation is making it hard on families to make ends meet, these are unacceptable outcomes," she said.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement