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There have been articles in the paper about spills by trains carrying oil. But there has been little attention paid to the underground oil pipelines.

The Canadian company Enbridge currently has oil pipelines going through Columbia County. This oil is not being used in Wisconsin, just pumped through our state towards the Gulf. Enbridge has recently tripled the pressure in their pumping stations. Line 61 has become the largest tar sands pipeline in the world outside Russia.

Tar sands oil flows with toxic chemicals, including benzene. In 2010, an Enbridge pipeline ruptured and tar sands oil ran into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, while benzene burst into the air. It cost Enbridge more than $1 billion to clean this up, and six years later the spill is not all cleaned up. Enbridge had more than 800 spills between 1999 and 2010. A spill is a danger to anyone using groundwater nearby.

Enbridge wishes to add Line 66. To do so, they will need to take more land from landowners. Our state Legislature recently expanded eminent domain, making any “business entity” able to take private land, even a foreign company such as Enbridge. Enbridge was behind this change. The company does need to come to the county board. It usually tries to get permission at the last minute to avoid opposition.

Charles Bradley, Portage