Target: Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General
Goal: Demand significantly harsher civil penalties as well as criminal charges against Enbridge for its role in a disastrous crude oil spill.
In July 2010, Canadian pipeline company Enbridge spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil into Michigan’s Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River after a 30-inch pipeline burst. This was a major disaster for the local environment and surrounding communities, and this catastrophe occurred because of severe negligence. A settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently been announced, however the terms are an affront to those affected by this terrible oil spill and those who fight Big Oil greed.
Enbridge Inc. and partnering companies have agreed to spend $110 million to improve nearly 2,000 miles of pipeline systems in the Great Lakes area, as it should rightly do. The injustice, however, is the lack of criminal charges and the offensively low amount of civil penalties — a total of $62 million for Clean Water Act violations. In comparison, Enbridge reported $1.2 billion in total revenue in just the first quarter of 2016. It is an almost laughably light slap on the wrist for such a terrible display of negligence.
In another blow to the residents of Michigan affected by the crude oil spill, the DOJ is actually rewarding Enbridge Inc. as part of the settlement. The company can now replace a pipeline that runs through Minnesota and Wisconsin with a new, larger pipeline that is estimated to pump twice as much crude oil through the region. This is a terrible precedent to set for environmental disasters like the oil spill caused by Enbridge in 2010. Sign to demand the DOJ pursue criminal charges against Enbridge and appeal for significantly higher civil penalties.
Dear Mrs. Lynch,
The recent settlement reached by the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency with Enbridge Inc. for its 2010 crude oil spill into Michigan waterways is an affront to the local residents, and to the fight against oil corporations. Four years of negotiations resulted in fines of just $62 million for Clean Water Act violations. Enbridge Inc. reported $1.2 billion in total revenue in just the first quarter of 2016.
From 2010 to 2014, 1.2 million gallons of crude oil were recovered from the Kalamazoo River. The lasting effects of this environmental disaster will continue for generations. The state of Michigan has faced so many hardships, from the bankruptcy of Detroit to the water crisis in Flint. It is unacceptable to allow this injustice to go without proper punishment and that is why we demand Enbridge Inc. face criminal charges and significantly higher civil penalties for its severe negligence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: drpepperscott230