Beneath the Straits of Mackinac, the connecting waterway between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, lies Enbridge Line 5: a pipeline built in 1953 bringing natural gas and crude from the oil sands in Alberta to refineries in Ontario and Quebec. Opponents of the pipeline worry that it could rupture, poisoning the fresh water supply, blocking shipping routes, and crushing tourism. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered it shut down, but Enbridge refused; they’re now in mediation.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Trudeau is lobbying the Biden administration to keep the pipeline open. Having already blocked Keystone XL, it remains unclear whether Biden will favour shutting down an already-operating pipeline. On today’s show, Globe U.S. correspondent Adrian Morrow joins us to talk about what makes this pipeline battle different, why anti-pipeline activists were able to gather such a broad coalition of supporters, and why shutting down Line 5 could mean higher gas prices for Ontario and Quebec.