Recently State Representative Kurt Heise introduced House Bill 4540, or, as some are calling it, the Oil & Gas Secrecy Law. If passed, this bill would exempt oil & gas companies in Michigan from providing basic information "about the production, generation, transportation, transmission, or distribution of fuel or energy" to citizens who request it through Michigan's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This would mean that even Michigan landowners who have gas & oil pipelines running through their backyards wouldn't have the right to know what's in them or how much is flowing through them. Take action now to protect Michigan ecosystems and communities from negligent oil and gas companies and oil spills.
In Michigan we know first hand that a lack of transparency and accountability from oil and gas companies damages the health of our ecosystems and communities. When Enbridge's line 6b pipeline burst in the Kalamazoo River in 2010, it leaked for 17 hours before Enbridge responded to the spill, and it took them two weeks to disclose what chemicals and substances had actually been spilled. Given this track record, we need our State to require oil and gas companies to be more accountable, not less, to the potential threats they can cause to our state so that government agencies and citizens can be more proactive in preventing spills and protecting landowner rights.
In addition, this bill is unnecessary because federal and state laws already allow for exemptions from FOIA for national security or safety concerns. While masquerading as a bill meant to protect the public from acts of terrorism, what it actually does is protect companies like Enbridge and Energy Transfer (of the ET Rover pipeline) from sharing information with landowners and citizens who have legitimate concerns about the safety of these pipelines.
And click here to Take action against HB 4540; The Oil and Gas Secrecy Law.
Published on May 26, 2015