At around 2:00 a.m. this past Tuesday, residents in Berrien County on the west side of the state were awaken by the sound of a 24-30 inch natural gas pipeline rupturing. The noise was tremendous and some area folks said it “felt like the earth was shaking a little bit.”
Vic Rogers, a farmer that lives just a quarter mile from where the blast occurred, says he heard a loud noise around 2 a.m. and came outside to see a geyser of mud and dirt 200 feet in the area.
The area around the pipeline is now swampy.
Trans Canada, the owners of the ANR pipeline that burst, coordinated with area public safety officials who ordered an immediate evacuation of the area in a one-mile radius around the rupture, impacting more than 500 people. Residents were finally allowed to return home around 4:00 p.m. the following day.
Ironically, the ruptured gas pipeline happened the same day that the same company, Trans Canada, reapplied for a construction permit in South Dakota for its Keystone XL pipeline.
Like the Enbridge oil spill in Kalamazoo in 2010, this catastrophe happened in the Congressional district represented by Fred Upton, a Republican who has received over $2 million from Big Oil interests over the years including nearly half a million in this election cycle alone.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and 350 Action have teamed up to demand that Fred Upton pay back this dirty money by donating it to local cleanup efforts and to stop being a Congressional puppet for polluters in Michigan and across the country.
Here’s their pitch:
BIG NEWS: “There has been a major gas line rupture” in Michigan, reports a local news outlet.
This happened in your area and the district of House Energy Chair Fred Upton. He took $2,091,236 from big oil, gas, and other energy interests — and then voted with them.
The Los Angeles Times calls Upton one of the “biggest threats to Planet Earth on Planet Earth.”
PETITION: “Give the $2,091,236 you have taken from big polluters to local cleanup efforts. And represent your constituents — stop voting with your big-money donors.”
Just a couple years ago, the equivalent of the BP oil spill happened on the Kalamazoo River in your area. But Upton kept voting with big-money polluters and against you. It’s time to take action…
Here’s Adam Green, PCCC co-founder:
Republican House Energy Chair Fred Upton has taken $2,091,236 from big oil, gas, and other energy interests — and voted with them against his constituents. PCCC members are calling on Upton to give his money from big polluters to local cleanup efforts — and to stop voting with his big-money donors.
And 350 Action’s Executive Director May Boeve:
Companies like TransCanada couldn’t care less about our health or or climate. Greed is what drives them, and their campaign dollars are driving climate denial in Congress. Activists fighting TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline have known this for years: Members of Congress who take the most fossil fuel money are the ones most eager to help fossil fuel companies wreck our climate by building risky pipelines like Keystone XL. Voters need to know that Fred Upton is beholden to fossil fuel companies who don’t have their best interest at heart. We are proud to join PCCC in calling him out.
Help them out by signing their petition HERE.
Also, make sure Fred Upton’s Democratic opponent, Paul Clements, has the resources he needs to win in November by making a donation HERE.
[CC photo credit: rickz | Flickr]