Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer brought her parents into this argument. She’s telling state capitol reporters, “When I was a kid, my parents taught me: You break it, you pay for it”. The Governor says that’s the least Enbridge Oil can pledge, should its controversial Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac break open and release oil into the straits between Michigan’s two peninsulas. The state’s ongoing battle with Enbridge involves several fronts with an Ingham County Circuit Court Judge handling most of the ongoing legal angles. But the Governor wants a simple letter signed by the company clearly stating if there’s an oil or gas spill from Line 5, Enbridge will fix whatever mess is created.

Enbridge counters by pointing out it went even further in 2018 in an agreement with the state to that effect, as part of the plan to dig a tunnel under the straits to house new oil and gas lines. It also delivered a letter to the state on Monday reiterating its responsibility for the safety of the lines and any potential damages if there’s a break. But the state claims Enbridge is playing loosey-goosey and its commitment actually comes from a subsidiary and not the parent company. So round and round they go. In the meantime, the Governor is picking up more heat from a coalition of environmental groups pushing her to find a way to shut down line 5 for good.  That’s something the state has been trying to do. But so far, the Ingham County Circuit Court Judge handling the case is allowing both sides ample room to prove their cases and the state’s demand for a total and final shutdown hasn’t been ordered.

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