Why did that guy crawl into a pipeline in Michigan?

Jun 24, 2013

Update 5:10 p.m.

Chris Wahmoff has left the Enbridge pipeline. He told officials he was planning to exit the pipe at 5 p.m. today. It was his birthday after all.

3:29 p.m.

A man identified as Chris Wahmoff crawled into a pipeline in Marshall, Michigan early this morning.

New pipeline being installed by Enbridge in Michigan.
New pipeline being installed by Enbridge in Michigan.
Credit Rina Miller / Michigan Radio

Reports say he's still in there.

Wahmoff is protesting Enbridge Energy Partners LLP, an Canadian-based oil company responsible for the largest freshwater oil spill in the U.S.

According to the activist group Earth First! Newswire, Wahmoff is located less than half a mile from where Line 6B broke in 2010.

Here's a photo taken shortly after the spill:

Enbridge Energy oil spill
Enbridge pipeline spill in 2010
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Wahmoff is part of the group MI CATS, Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands.

According to MI CATS Facebook page, the group "seeks to unite the people of Michigan towards a common goal of stopping all transportation and refining of tar sands oil in the state and advocating against the production/transportation of tar sands everywhere."

Wahmoff is also a spokesperson for Occupy Kalamazoo. He tweeted from #OccupyKalamazoo at 7:39 a.m. this morning:

MI CATS identified Wahmoff's protest as a "Lockdown inside Enbridge pipeline" on Facebook:

Enbridge, get ready for resistance as you continue to plunder forward with the Line 6B expansion!

In solidarity with the growing numbers of blockades and all resistance to extreme energy extraction and production, we lock down. 

According to WWMT, Wahmoff entered the pipeline just before 8 a.m.

He is demanding that Enbridge Energy clean up and repair all damage from Line 6B's spill in 2010.

The EPA estimates around 180,000 gallons of Line 6B oil remain at the bottom of the river.

WWMT reported that rescue crews are worried Wahmoff isn't getting enough oxygen and are fanning air into the pipeline.

Here's a video from the Detroit Free Press about Wahmoff's current status:

Wahmoff's protest is part of a larger movement happening throughout the country.

Fearless Summer is "escalating the movement against extreme energy." During the week of June 24-29,  Fearless Summer is promoting a Week of Action.

Grist.org's Susie Cagle identified Fearless Summer as "A mash-up between grassroots efforts and large, national environmental groups...It's not an organization; it has no staff. It's simply an attempt to frame a host of disparate actions happening around the country under the tent of one growing but diverse movement."

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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