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Please begin with an informative title:

Enbridge Energy Partners is the Canadian oil company who stepped up the Gulf Oil Disaster story to ironic comedy status by adding its own version of the oil volcano in the largest Fresh Water region on the planet recently, even as BP and its minions were stumbling over themselves to cover up the damage they had done.

Now, they appear to be on the verge of making it an even more ridiculous commentary on the Oil Industry's inability to control their shit.

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A pipeline that spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River late last month has a dent in a section that runs under the St. Clair River where it crosses from southeastern Michigan into Canada, (Michigan Rep. Candice Miller-R) revealed Wednesday.
(...)

In the letter to Miller, Enbridge official Steve Wuori assured the congresswoman that once the dent was found in the pipeline under the river, the company reduced pressure in the line and took other measures to make sure it was safe to operate until it can be fixed or replaced. Enbridge had earlier notified federal officials of hundreds of anomalies found in Line 6B through testing, though all were east of the spill site in mid-Michigan.

This oil company already fouled one of the most pristine rivers in Michigan, the Kalamazoo river, and took weeks to get a hold of the oil that was bubbling with reckless abandon into the waters and heading ever closer to the shores of Lake Michigan.  That company is now in the process of trying to convince howowners along the most affected stretches of that riverfront to sell their homes to Enbridge, so the oil glutton can reduce its liability and the amount of pressure Enbridge is  experiencing to clean up its mess.  Imagine if British Petroleum just offered to buy the Gulf of Mexico and all the houses along its shore just so they could tell people who were affected by their incompetence, "So sorry - it belongs to us now, beat it!"

If you live in the Great Mitten chances are you were like me and immediately started googling to find out where this pipeline ran?  Most of us had never even heard of Enbridge, or considered that an Alaskan-length pipeline might have been sunk under Michigan soil decades ago without our knowledge!  And now what is the condition of this aging profit pipe?  If this thing is that compromised, who else could be affected?

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Yikes.

Enbridge "assured Miller" that the dent near the St. Clair river, which feeds directly into Lake Huron (home of Mackinac Island and the pristine wildernesses of Michigan's east coast and Canada's Ontario Province,) and Lake St. Clair, which flows as just a hop, skip and an inevitable jump into the Detroit River, was "being handled appropriately.  But Candice explained that from what she has ascertained, the company presently has no plan as to how they will deal with this disaster-hazard.

This begins to feel a little bit like the movie scene where the subject lights a lamp in a pitch dark cave and suddenly the realization that their head is surrounded by spiderwebs, cockroaches and vicious rats comes crashing down around him.  When is it too much?  When do we start demanding that government get a grip on oil and petroleum interests, get some accountability on their pipelines' conditions, and start demanding some vision as to how they might handle worst case scenarios.  How much more of a warning do we need?  The Gulf Oil disaster in some ways was so huge, and so outlandish that it actually made it difficult for Americans to even grasp that this only-slightly-smaller disaster was brewing in tandem with it.  And now with this new development that it may still not even be over, how much of an outrage-nerve does the country even have left?

It's exhausting, I know.  But we need to do something, and I'm not sure what it is.  But it sure as hell can't be what we're doing.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Detroit Mark on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 10:37 AM PDT.

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