Contrary to intent, Winona LaDuke’s May 24 opinion piece highlights the integral role Enbridge Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac plays in our daily lives.
That includes producing the transportation fuel, as well as the raw product essential to manufacturing the planes, buses, cars, and other vehicles Ms. LaDuke uses for cross-country travel to protest Line 5 and other energy infrastructure projects.
Counter to the often-repeated irresponsible claims of doom and gloom perpetuated by Ms. LaDuke, Line 5 continues to operate safely ─ a fact reiterated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The U.S. federal regulator that oversees Line 5, PHMSA said in January that it is “presently aware of no unsafe or hazardous conditions that would warrant shutdown of Line 5.”
For the millions of people who rely on the 540,000 million barrels a day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids Line 5 transports safely, PHSMA’s determination that Line 5 is operating safely is good news.
Line 5 helps heat homes and businesses and provides the light crude oil refineries in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario turn into more than 6,000 products. From medicine to vitamins, to eyeglasses, phones, crayons, paints, gardening products, and solar panels, Line 5 helps make it possible.
Along with providing propane to more than half of Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, Line 5 generates $265.7 million in annual tax revenue that supports our communities. Line 5 also supports more than 33,000 jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
Most who live in Michigan and the surrounding region recognize the practical, environmental and economic benefits of Line 5 to their communities, reflected in the fact that more than 30 Michigan counties have passed resolutions in favor of the continued safe operation of Line 5.
While Enbridge repeatedly has stressed the State’s November 2020 Notice to revoke the easement agreement used outdated data that ignores the current conditions of Line 5, Enbridge also remains receptive to ongoing mediation to try to resolve the State’s concerns.
As we work through the process with the State, we will continue focusing on the technological advances to implement successful measures that enhance the safe and environmentally sound operation of Line 5. This includes construction of the Great Lakes Tunnel to encase a replacement section of Line 5 deep below the lakebed of the Straits, virtually eliminating the chance of an anchor strike or spill.
By making a safe pipeline even safer, the Great Lakes Tunnel Project is the commonsense, long-term solution to continuing to protect the Straits while preserving Michigan’s energy security.