Michigan Oil Spill Estimated to Cause $6 billion in damage

An environmental study claims the damage from an oil spill at Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac could result in a $6 billion impact on the state’s economy.

The study was carried out by FLOW, a science, law and policy center in Traverse City, Michigan and focused on the Line 5 spill that happened in April when the twin 65 year old pipelines owned by Enbridge Energy were damaged by currents in the straits.

Ecological economist Robert Richardson conducted the study.

“This study puts credible numbers behind what common sense tells us, that a Line 5 spill could cause catastrophic economic impacts in addition to environmental destruction. It’s another compelling reason for the state to take swift action to shut down Line 5,” said Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW.

The leak came on the heels of a July 2010 pipeline rupture that released more than 840,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River system.