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InsideClimate News: Americans Face "invading army" of frackers on their land

1 min. read

This story by InsideClimate News should outrage every American, not just the ones facing the "invading army" of frackers on their land.

Without state or federal regulations to protect them, people who live along the 210-mile Michigan section of Enbridge's new pipeline have been left to plead with a company many say is indifferent to their concerns. The 36-inch diameter pipeline will run from Griffith, Ind. across southern Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. It is replacing Enbridge's 44-year-old Line 6B, which ruptured near Marshall, Mich. in 2010, causing the largest inland oil spill in North American history. Line 6B was reopened a few months later, and the new, larger pipeline is being built alongside it. A natural gas pipeline owned by an Enbridge subsidiary is also buried in the right of way.

To accommodate the new, $1.3 billion pipeline, Enbridge added about 50 feet to its existing right of way. That put it on a collision course with landowners who have nurtured sprawling gardens, orchards and stands of trees more than a century old in what is now the pipeline's path. When people refused to sell their strip of land, Enbridge exercised its legal right to condemn the property. Although the owners are compensated, some still feel their rights have been violated.

A section of the new line already has been installed about 7 feet from Marty Burke's house in Howell, Mich.—so close that Enbridge used a special process to make sure his foundation didn't collapse.

"At every level of government I contacted, they all said they had no regulations or no authority to do anything," Burke said.

Does that seem right to you? It certainly doesn't to us. Sadly, though, the fossil fuel companies have so much power, they often get away with stuff like this. Infuriating.