In the United States, another nationwide scandal is unfolding, where a fashionable environmental agenda, a direct violation of chain of command and relations with the main ally are boiling in one cauldron. The fact is that the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, personally ordered the shutdown of the Line 5 oil and gas pipeline.
Despite the fact that Whitmer is a Democrat (and it is assumed that he follows strictly in the wake of Joe Biden’s party politics ), her decision had such a cross-border response that the entire White House rushed to warm up the rapidly growing cold relations with Canada. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The fuel transport line Line 5 was built back in 1953. It consists of two parallel 20-inch pipes that carry natural gas (propane) as well as light crude oil, light synthetic oil and liquid gas concentrate. If we look at the map, we can see that Line 5 has its origins in western Canada, in the area of Fort McMurray and Edmonton. This is where tar sands lie – a source of Canadian fuel and wealth. The pipe goes south, crosses the border and enters the state of Wisconsin, in order to go further strictly to the east – exactly until the confluence of the three Great Lakes of America : Superior, Michiganand Huron. Here, the highway dives into the fresh waters of the Mackinac Strait and, after four and a half kilometers, comes back to the surface to go down the map across the entire state of Michigan. In the area of the town of Sarnia, Ontario, the pipes cross the state border with Canada and further, in the form of the Line 7 and Line 9 pipelines, carry their payload to Montreal and further to Toronto. In fact, we are facing a Canadian transport line passing through the lands of two American states.
Since relations between Washington and Ottawa have always been as close, friendly and allied as possible, the Canadians did not object to the construction of the Line 10 interconnector, through which part of the hydrocarbons was additionally supplied to the American Buffalo.
To understand the scale of this technical facility and its extreme importance, we will mention that 540 thousand barrels of oil are p-umped through Line 5 every day, and it also covers 65 percent of Mich-igan’s demand for propane.
That is, there is a mutually beneficial cooperation, when Canadians pump the necessary resources to their own oil refineries in the east of the country, and greatly help out their neighbor, along the way, naturally, not forgetting to replenish their own budget.
For almost seventy years of its operational activity, the oil and gas pipeline has been operating without failures and special complaints. The only significant accident happened in 2010. Then, as a result of the spill, about twenty thousand barrels of oil got into one of the tributaries of the Michigan River. The operator company Enbridge paid off all costs, eliminated the consequences of the spill, and the incident was considered settled. And then the government in Washington changed, and with it the state course of energy development.
Canada barely recovered from a previous friendly st-ab in the back from the U-nited States, when Joe Bi-den personally banned the construction of Canada’s s-trategically important Key-stone XL oil pipeline this s-ummer, causing TC Energy Canada and the state of Alberta, which invested in the project, to suffer losses in the amount of almost two billion dollars.
Washington did not even try to sweeten the bitter pill, and although official Otta-wa is not returning to this topic now, there is no doubt that this did not improve relations between the allies.
Keystone, as they say, was buried by the whole world. The top stars of Hollywood stood up for its closure – and, since the scheme once worked, the American greens, on their own or at the instigation of invisible puppeteers, decided to repeat the success.
At first, horror stories were thrown into the American press en masse that a four-kilometer section of a twin pipe that runs along the bottom of the Makino Strait is extremely worn out and there is a high likelihood of an environmental catastrophe. Furth-er, since the Canadians stubbornly ignored all hints and continued to pump oil from their west to their own east, more radical measures were taken.
In October, in the small town of Vassar, Taskola Co-unty, Michigan, a group of masked activists broke thr-ough to one of the compressor stations serving Line 5 and damaged equipment.
As a result of an act of direct vandalism and sabotage, the pumping station was stopped, which disrupted the fuel supply schedule.
To understand the surrealism of what is happening, let’s imagine that a transit oil and gas pipeline passes through the territory of Russia, which belongs, for example, to Kazakhstan. Our neighbor completely maintains the pipeline, pays for the transit of hydrocarbons, our local residents work on the highway, and the conventional Nur-Sultan simultaneously supplies the transit Russian region with raw materials. And here one of the technical facilities is infiltrated by environmentally concerned citizens who disable complex and expensive equipment, disrupting supplies and condemning ordinary l-ocal laborers to extracurricular work, and the Russian authorities to pay a penalty.
Scandal to heaven, no options. And in the USA, nothing is normal. Further more. The whole governor of the state, without notifications and warnings from a neighbor, ally and owner of the pipe, personally ordered the pumping to be completely stopped. The decision was not even influenced by the fact that the Canadians had invited experts from the US Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a technical audit of the underwater part of the pipeline ahead of time. Representatives of the corps, who, according to US law, have the right to perform maintenance and survey of various objects, including, for example, dams and pipelines, carried out the corresponding work with the involvement of special equipment and divers and issued a conclusion that Line 5 is completely safe. However, Mrs. Whitmer was not at all embarrassed.
Canada reacted with lightning speed and as harsh as possible. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Line 5’s operation is non-negotiable and, unless Washington immediately repeals the local order and guarantees the smooth operation of the raw materials pipeline, Ottawa is ready to go to court. According to a bilateral agreement of 1977, the parties must ensure the unhindered pumping of gas and oil products, and the violator is obliged to pay an impressive penalty.
It is not known what influenced the White House more – either unplanned spending in the state budget, or the illusory likelihood of further freezing relations with the main ally to a historic minimum, but he hastened to assure Ottawa that the United States was not considering stopping Line 5, and suggested organize urgent negotiations. This, in particular, was stated by the Speaker of the White House Karin Jean-Pierre, separately stressing that the very fact of the negotiations should not be considered even as a hint of the termination of the Canadian pipeline.
What is happening in the United States reminds, pardon the comparison, a fire in a circus, when elephants and rhinos are rushing about the arena, trampling spectators in the stands, and the chief entertainer with a smile convinces everyone that there is no danger and all this is just a misunderstanding.
The states, true to their doctrine of being first in all good versus bad, have independently fostered and nourished modern greens. The latter received carte blanche for any actions, including those that go against the criminal code. It is enough just to conduct a wide media campaign and declare the noble goal of preserving nature – and you can create virtually complete chaos. In this situation, one could gloat over the next foreign policy failure of our principled Western partners, if not for one thing. The green agenda is being pushed as aggressively as possible in all industries, including those where Russia’s interests are widely represented.