Enbridge’s Line 5 carries up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids through the Straits of Mackinac each day. A large oil spill would have a devastating impact on shoreline habitat, endangered species like the piping plover, and the Great Lakes tourism and outdoor recreation economy.
Instead of decommissioning the pipeline and protecting the Great Lakes, outgoing Governor Rick Snyder and Enbridge Energy hatched a scheme to put Line 5 in a tunnel operated by the Mackinac Bridge Authority, leveraging that body’s sterling reputation to cover Enbridge’s history of leaks, spills and coverups.
However, the tunnel is projected to take at least a decade to build while Line 5 continues operation in the open waters of the Great Lakes. Fortunately, there are safer ways to meet Michigan’s energy needs. Unfortunately, there are environmental risks in the construction and operation of a tunnel. And this week, the Michigan legislature could vote on a bill to advance the tunnel scheme.
Tell your state legislators to reject SB 1197 to cement Line 5’s threat to the Great Lakes in place despite safer alternatives for Michigan’s energy needs.