This week I’ve had the opportunity to get involved in a campaign the Michigan Land Use Institute is running called Oil and Water Don’t Mix. It’s working to remove the Line 5 Enbridge pipeline from the Mackinac straits. It doesn’t take a lot of time Up North to understand how attached people are to the water. Beyond beauty, some of the areas around here are entirely dependent on the tourism that the beautiful scenery brings. Places such as Mackinac Island would be ruined if a spill were to occur.
The issue with this particular pipeline is that the company that owns it, Enbridge, was responsible for a pipeline break in Kalamazoo in 2010 that was the biggest inland oil spill in history spilling a million barrels. To say that people don’t trust Enbridge is an understatement. Also, this pipeline is older than the one that burst and is in a more vulnerable area.
I’ve been involved in the campaign by sitting in on meetings to talk about where the money would be best spent to get the word out, calling up radio stations to figure out rates, attending a meeting in Petoskey that included a presentation about the safety of the pipeline from Enbridge themselves, and going up to Mackinac to help film the commercial that will be aired in most of Northern Michigan raising awareness about the existence of the pipeline.
In Mackinac, I was able to join the crew that was filming the commercial that would exhibit the beautiful scenery that is the Mackinac straits and discuss what would happen if this vulnerable area were to suffer an oil spill in order to raise awareness about the pipe and create a campaign to get it removed.
My impressions of working to film a commercial were that it is unbelievable how much time goes into creating the scene, setting up the equipment, and shooting the same scene over and over again to get it perfect. It was extremely time consuming and the work isn’t done as the footage enters the editing stage. I am very excited to see the final product!