ISSUE POSITIONS
  NORTHPORT                          ENERGY
Underlying all of our other interests, we at Northport Energy are committed to protecting the air, land and waters of our earth. Our pursuit of renewable energy derives from a respect and concern for these primary elements of our world.

While Northport Energy was not created to be a political entity, we do find that our interests sometimes intersect with issues that have become political. For this reason, we offer the following position statements with the goal of informing and educating our readers.


Climate Change

Climate Change is arguably the single most important issue of our times. With the very health and welfare of our planet at risk, all other issues must take a back seat to this one. 

The scientific consensus is that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (meaning 95% probability or higher) that humans are causing most of it through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as the burning of fossil fuels and the addition of methane from oil and gas production. No scientific body of national or international standing maintains a formal opinion dissenting from any of these main points.

100% agreement on anything as complex as climate is impossible. We submit that if you were told by your physician that she was 95% sure you had a serious illness that could be cured by a change of your behavior, a prudent person would undertake to make that change. Why would we not apply the same logic when the very welfare of our planet is at stake?

Recent studies suggest that climate change may be happening even faster than anticipated. Pacific islands have disappeared and major portions of the gulf coast are preparing evacuation plans due to sea level rise.  What can we do? Reduce carbon pollution. Scientists tell us that we are on track to see global temperatures rise up to 4°C by the end of the century. With a shift to a clean-energy economy, we can still create the sustainable and prosperous future we all want. But we must act now.

Northport Energy Position: Climate change is real. And it's primary cause is man's introduction of carbon and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere of our planet. 

A Google search on "Climate Change" produces thousands of results. But if you wish to delve deeper into this subject, Wikipedia has an excellent summary summary of current knowledge and fact:


Enbridge Pipeline 5

An oil spill from the section of Enbridge Pipeline 5 running under the Straits of Mackinaw would be devastating to our Great Lakes. We at Northport Energy believe it would be irresponsible not to take a position on this issue.

While Enbridge claims an excellent safety record, continuous monitoring of its lines and a rapid response to all spills, historical fact argues otherwise.  A simple Google search reveals that Enbridge had over 800 spills between 1999 and 2010 totaling approximately 161,475 barrels. In July 2010, (after the former study) came the Kalamazoo river spill. Wikipedia tells the whole story at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalamazoo_River_oil_spill , but suffice it to say that this was the largest inland oil spill in United States history. Worse, the Enbridge safety team assigned to monitor the line ignored sensor data saying the pipeline pressure had dropped. It took a random outsider hiking in the area to find and report the spill – some 17 hours later.

Because of their length, a spill from either of these twin, 20 inch, 63 year old pipelines would leak around 300,000 gallons – even if the valves at each end were closed immediately. Following a recent disaster exercise, the Coast Guard stated that if such a spill occurred in the winter under a frozen surface, there are currently no known means to clean it up. Recall again, it took over two years to do the primary clean up of a well defined, inland body of water in Kalamazoo. A recent University of Michigan computer simulation predicts that a Line 5 leak in the Straits would contaminate more than 700 miles of Great Lakes coastline from Petoskey to Alpena www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_0AsAAHpcs

The Great Lakes are the foundation of Michigan's $22 billion tourist economy, over 200,000 Michigan jobs and the drinking water for millions. The word catastrophe is not too strong to describe the consequences of an oil spill in the Great Lakes. Put simply, this should not be a political issue. We do not seek to close a company. We only seek to send the same oil, to the same destinations, down existing, but alternative pipeline routes. 

The waters of the Great Lakes must be protected at all costs. Do we side with the interests of a single, for–profit company or with the worlds largest body of fresh water? The answer is clear.

Northport Energy Position: Shut down Enbridge Line 5.