The Dirty Secret at the Bottom of the Great Lakes: Oil & Water
The world’s largest crude oil transporter has a secret buried deep in the Great Lakes—two aging oil pipelines that transport 23 million gallons of crude oil through the largest body of fresh water on earth.
Enbridge, the company that operates the pipelines, insists that the two 20-inch pipelines stretching across the Straits of Mackinac could last indefinitely. But one look at the company’s environmental record tells another story: Enbridge had more than 800 spills in North America between 1999 and 2010, dumping nearly 6.8 million gallons of oil. The largest spill released one million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River, only a few hours drive away from the Mackinac Straits. Activists and advocates have independently verified that parts of the pipeline—built in 1953—are sitting unsupported on the bottom of the lake and in major need of repair.
Motherboard travels to Michigan—oil spill central—to investigate the threats of crude oil being transported through one of the largest freshwater ecosystems in the world by a company with one of the most egregious environmental records.
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