Someone in western Michigan decided to up the ante today for environmental activists looking to make a statement: Protesting against a company's pipeline that caused the worst inland oil spill in U.S. History in 2010, a guy hopped inside the pipeline and isn't coming out.
The move by Chris Wahmhoff has officials worried because if you happen to skateboard deep inside an oil pipeline, which MLive notes is exactly what he's done, it in fact becomes more difficult to breathe.
Wahmhoff's Kalamazoo roommate, Scott Hassler, released a statement written by Wahmhoff on Monday morning that states his civil disobedience is in protest of the pipeline and fracking. He said Wahmhoff plans stay in the pipe "as long as it takes."
A cover story from Metro Times last June serves as a good primer on the oil spill and its after-effects in and around the city of Marshall.
The move comes as Enbridge is preparing to expand the 30-inch pipeline to 36-inches. (The Detroit Free Press had a solid report today regarding this.)
Sweetening the act even more, the 35-year-old Wahmhoff is celebrating his birthday today.
He said his "birthday wish is help for my community from the people, not the politicians, corporations, and large NGO's who want money for themselves," in the statement.
A representative from a group called Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands released a statement today that alluded to the protest.
Today, Monday June 24th, 2013, Michigan Coalistion Against Tar sands
(MiCATS) responded to Enbridge Energy's pipeline expansion project on line
6b in Marshall, Mi. In response to the expansion of line 6b, MiCATS put our
bodies directly in the path of a destructive course of development. As the
sun crawled over the horizon, we crawled onto the construction site and
stood in defiance against the insidious business practices of Enbridge
As Enbridge continues to neglect the tar sands settling in the Kalamazoo
River following the burst of pipeline 6b in 2010, the company is currently
developing the line to more than double the amount of the toxic material
being pumped through our communities every day. To increase their capacity
from 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) to at least 500,000 bpd, on a pipeline
whiche Enbridge has proven themselves devastatingly inept in maintaining a
line healthy enough to maintain it's initial capacity, not only proves the
company's disreguard for public health in the communities surrounding the
pipe, but also a lack of accountability for the ecological disaster in 2010.
Enbridge Energy has made it obscenely obvious that they only understand
dollar signs, as we (people living near the Kalamazoo River as well as
neighbors of the pipeline) pay the true price of heavy water pollution,
great risks to public health, and visible ecological destruction. We
encourage everyone near the pipeline route to feel empowered to act in
resistance to Enbridge through this fearless summer.
In Solidarity with Idle No More,
Photo Credit: AP