House Bill 4540

State lawmakers are considering a bill to make location and condition of energy pipelines secret. House Bill 4540 would exempt information about existing and proposed energy infrastructure from disclosure under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

This is supposed to be in the name of national security, but inspection records and other reports of the quality of the pipelines would also be hidden away from the eyes of concerned citizens and journalists, shielded by an exemption to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

That does not bode well for the environment and is evidence of the legislature’s proclivity to eliminate oversight of operations of business and industry that can, and do, effect the health and welfare of citizens as did Enbridge’s leaking oil pipe under the Kalamazoo River.

We were reminded again this week of the potential damage to the environment by oil leaking from buried pipe on to beaches and into the ocean in California. Consider: Do we really know the condition of the 60-year-old oil pipes under the Straits of Mackinac?

The Sierra Club is one of many environmental organization opposing the bill. Their reasons are included in a letter to Chairman McBroom and members of the House Oversight and Ethics Committee.

Or just search for “Michigan House Bill 4540” to find further discussion of the issues.

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