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March Against Pipeline Expansion

  • Whitewater, Wisconsin (map)

On March 4, 2017, young Wisconsinites and our allies concerned about the future of the environment, environmental responsibility and justice will be marching in Whitewater, Wisconsin, a town in the path of a proposed pipeline expansion, and the site of a related pumping station. 

Wisconsin is already intersected by 5 existing pipelines, and now Enbridge, a 57-billion-dollar Canadian company, has announced plans via shareholder letters to construct Line 66, a pipeline which would run parallel to the existing Line 61! Together these two pipelines would carry 2 million barrels of oil per day from Superior, Wisconsin diagonally through the heart of the state and many vital waterways. 

We are not just going to roll over and let that happen, which is why we will gather to state our firm opposition to a ruthless profit grab at the expense of the people and the natural environment. The oil transported by Lines 61 and that would be transported by 66 is tar sands oil, perhaps the most environmentally destructive source of energy on the planet, requiring clearcutting of pristine Alberta Boreal forest, and releasing a slew of different environmental toxins. On top of that, these pipelines lock in decades of fossil fuel consumption that will push the world closer to catastrophic and irreversible climate change, putting our collective futures and the future of the planet at grave and unacceptable risk. 

Over 800 spills occurred under Enbridge’s watch from 1999 to 2010, an average of one spill roughly every five days. It is with this history of carelessness in mind that we call upon Enbridge to decommission Line 5, a pipeline that passes under the environmentally vulnerable Mackinac Strait that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes are one of our most precious resources, and their ecological health shouldn’t rely on a pipeline that a company with a notoriously awful environmental and safety record built more than 60 years ago. 

Considering all the above, we simply don’t want or need any more of Enbridge’s reckless profiteering in Wisconsin, which leads us to our simple demands: 1) a public commitment by Enbridge not to construct any new tar sands oil infrastructure in Wisconsin, which of course includes Line 66, 2) the decommission of Line 5 as soon as possible, and 3) improved pipeline management, oversight, and technology from Enbridge in order to safely operate and eventually decommission existing pipelines as the nation and the world transition to clean fuel sources.