If a saying is something that someone has said, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true.

This would be particularly applicable to anything verbosed (my word) by politicians of any rank, or should I say, any rank politician?

A former Federal Minster of Something, now Minister of Something Else once soap boxed that the louder you say something, and the more often you say it, the more likely people will believe it.

As a collector of all phrases bright and shiny, I have, as loyal readers will know, put this political theorem through the spin cycle many times since the Governor of Michigan slammed the gavel down declaring the closing date of Line 5 to be May 13, 2021.

That folks is two weeks from now.

Not to worry though because our very own Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan also stamped his foot down and will not hear of this ever happening. This is non-negotiable.

So there!

Now, one would think that the minister must have had some backup data or laws to refer to before making this claim. My guess (and it’s just a guess) is that he has confidence in the fact that pipelines in the U.S. fall under federal jurisdiction, so the State of Michigan is out of line (so to speak) in shutting down this crude oil and refined products conduit that provides feedstock for a family of Canadian and U.S. refineries.

Sure, but in truth it’s overwhelmingly refineries in Ontario and Quebec that will have to close off operations if the Line goes into permanent hibernation.

Where Canada’s position gets shaky is although pipeline jurisdiction is within the federal portfolio of “things to do,” Line 5 rests on the lakebed between lakes Michigan and Huron when it crosses the Strait of Mackinaw.
When this happens then the state has authority over what is termed “bottomland.”

If a pipeline is land based it’s under federal authority, but if it’s anchored to a lake or seabed then the local state governments take over.

In my opinion the only solution to this mess is if the eco-friendly president can convince the not so eco-friendly Michigan Governor to back off and let Enbridge calm the political waters by spending $500 million on the twin tunnels to go under the lakebed – Not on it!

This will certainly put the new president to the test.

It will be hard for him to thread the political rope through the eye of this environmental needle.

Canadian consumers may want to get ready to get poked in the eye.

Or kicked somewhere else!

– Roger McKnight – B.Sc., Senior Petroleum Analyst

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