Fossil Fuel Free is a Misguided Pipe Dream

In a recent opinion piece featured in the Detroit News, Jay Lehr, Ph.D., a senior policy analyst with the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) details the many hidden benefits and advantages of oil and gas that few ever consider. From efficient transport to electrical production to the numerous petroleum derived products, oil and gas have transformed our lives. 

Speaking at the America First Energy Conference in Houston in November 2017, Roger H. Bezdek, of Management Information Services, Inc., summed up:

“What have fossil fuels done for us recently? They are the foundation of our current economy. They created (and sustained) the modern world. They permit the current high quality of life we all enjoy. Over the past two centuries life expectancy has more than doubled, populations increased eightfold, real incomes have increased worldwide more than eleven-fold.”

"If you think life was great in 1860 — a time without electricity, airline travel, widespread internal combustion engines, refrigeration, air conditioning, cell phones, Internet and computers — then, yes, stop using fossil fuels. But don’t impose your standards on the rest of us."

Click Here to Read the Full Article in The Detroit News

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Bay Area Desk & Derrick's 19th Annual Oilfield Classic

The BADDC will be hosting the 19th Annual Oilfield Golf Classic on Friday, August 16, 2019 at the Gaylord Golf Club. The cost to attend is $70/person or $280 for a foursome which includes lunch and door prizes. Hole sponsorships are available at $200 and  non-golfers may purchase lunch tickets for $15. To reserve your spot or sponsor a hole, send payment to Bay Area Desk & Derrick c/o Mosbacher Energy Company, PO Box 395, Grawn, MI 49637 or call Kathy Bickel, (231) 645-6476 or by email at mosbacherenergy@gmail.com.

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Senate Republicans urge Governor to lead on Line 5

In response to the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General, Three members of the Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to Governor Whitmer urging her to reach a compromise to keep Line 5 open and operational while plans for a new tunnel continue.  

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, Senator Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, and Senator Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, issued the following joint statement:

“The Attorney General is slowing progress on a tunnel – not a penny of which will be paid for by taxpayers – that will ensure the continued safety of a vital energy conduit. If she has her way, Michiganders will pay significantly more for gas at the pump and for propane to heat their homes. And she will put at risk thousands of jobs that are directly related to the line, and thousands more that would be created by the tunnel project. Her actions today are ill-advised and dangerous.”

Click here to view the full letter

 

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Attorney General Dana Nessel Takes Legal Action on Line 5

Today, June 27th marked the deadline that Attorney General Dana Nessel gave the Governor to reach a deal with Enbridge on Line 5 before she took her own legal action. The sides were unable to come to an agreeable timeline for the project’s completion, as Gov. Whitmer held firm to seeing the pipeline out of the water in two years, a non-starter for Enbridge. The decommissioning of Line 5 without a replacement would severally impact Michigan’s homes and businesses.
As promised, today the AG took legal action. Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a motion to dismiss Enbridge’s lawsuit filed in the Court of Claims on June 6 that sought to enforce agreements with the previous administration to build the tunnel and continue the operation of the existing pipeline during construction. In addition, she filed  a lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court alleging that Enbridge’s continued operation of the Straits Pipelines under the easement granted by the State in 1953 violates the public trust doctrine, is a common law public nuisance, and violates the Michigan Environmental Protection Act because it is likely to cause pollution impairment and destruction of water and other natural resources. 

To coincide with the legal actions, Nessel released a video statement that can be found here. 

Click here for the full press release out of the AG's office 

We will keep you updated as this continues to develop. 

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Q&A: What happens if the state shuts down Line 5 

An editorial from Chad Livengood featured in Crain's Detroit Business News takes a closer look at the negative impacts a permanent shutdown of Line 5 could have on not only Michigan, but Canada and surrounding states as well. 

"A permanent shutdown of Enbridge Energy Co.'s Line 5 oil pipeline could have a major downstream impact on trade with Canada, energy supplies for multiple states and the price of jet fuel for airplanes at Detroit Metro Airport and residential propane in the Lower Peninsula."

Click Here to Read the Full Piece 

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Enbridge Moves Forward with Rock and Soil Sampling

Enbridge will continue with rock and soil sampling in the Straits this week as it moves its previously land based sampling operation onto the water. 6-inch-diameter holes will be drilled up to 150 feet into the lakebed to determine the best place for the tunnel.The geotechnical work is part of a $40 million investment into pre-construction work and will help to keep the tunnel construction on the proposed timeline.  Once the results of the geotechnical studies are in, tunnel design work can begin as early as 2020. 

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Governor Appoints UP Energy Task Force

This advisory body to the Governor, within the Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) will be comprised of at least 13 members appointed by the Governor, all of whom must be Michigan residents and possess relevant expertise. The group is tasked with submitting a propane plan in part to the Governor by March 31, 2020 that will focus on alternative means to supply propane in the event of a Line 5 shutdown and submitting a final report by March 31, 2021.

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Enbridge remains committed to the tunnel as talks with the Governor fall short of reaching an agreed timeline

Early last week, Governor Whitmer set a deadline of Monday June 10th for the State and Enbridge to reach a conceptual agreement on the construction of the replacement tunnel for Line 5 and the shutdown of the existing pipeline. In this short timeframe, the sides were not able come to an agreeable timeline for the project’s completion.

Barring any permitting delays, Enbridge maintains it could complete a tunnel to house Line 5 by 2024. After which, they would decommission the existing line. Gov. Whitmer, however, has held firm to seeing the pipeline out of the water in two years. The decommissioning of Line 5 without a replacement would severally impact Michigan’s homes and businesses. The energy – gasoline, diesel, home heating propane, and the thousands of petroleum products derived from these resources, need to safely and efficiently reach communities across the state.

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EGLE names Dr. Brandy Brown as Climate and Energy Advisor

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For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2019
Jill A. Greenberg, EGLE Public Information Officer, GreenbergJ@Michigan.gov, 517-897-4965

EGLE names Dr. Brandy Brown as climate and energy advisor

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark today announced that Dr. Brandy Brown has been named the department’s climate and energy advisor. Brown will lead the Office of Climate and Energy, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer created in February 2019 when forming EGLE via Executive Order 2019-6. The office will coordinate Michigan’s response to climate change across state departments and agencies, and provide recommendations, guidance and assistance on climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency strategies.

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Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Creating UP Energy Task Force

On Friday, June 7, 2019, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2019-14 creating the UP Energy Task Force. This action comes as the Governor and Enbridge failed to reach an agreeable timeline for the replacement and decommission of the existing Line 5 pipeline. According to the press release, the new task force will assess the UP’s overall energy needs and how they are currently being met; identify and evaluate potential changes in energy supply and distribution; and formulate alternative solutions to meet the UP’s energy needs – including alternatives to the current distribution of propane through Line 5, which poses an unacceptable threat to The Great Lakes. The press release goes on to say “25 percent of UP residents use propane for home heating, and much of that propane is delivered through the Line 5 pipeline. The future of Line 5, however, is uncertain” and adds that “The unacceptable threat posed by the continued operation of the pipelines through the Straits, as well as the lack of an established backup propane distribution system were Line 5 to malfunction, make developing alternative solutions a priority”.

This advisory body to the Governor, within the Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) will be comprised of at least 13 members appointed by the Governor, all of whom must be Michigan residents and possess relevant expertise. The group is tasked with submitting a propane plan in part to the Governor by March 31, 2020 that will focus on alternative means to supply propane in the event of a Line 5 shutdown and submitting a final report by March 31, 2021.

In 2017, an independent study conducted by Dynamic Risk did in fact look at alternative to the Straits pipeline and determined that they were either not feasible, contained higher risk or would require much higher costs. In addition to these conclusions, the study confirmed that the existing pipeline was in excellent condition.

The Governor has yet to make appointments to the new task force.

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