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NWF: Lame Duck Line 5 Tunnel Legislation Ignores Safer Alternatives for Michigan Energy Needs

Lansing, MI – Today, the Michigan Senate passed a substitute version of legislation (SB 1197) to create an entirely new authority board to own and oversee a tunnel for Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 oil and natural gas pipeline, which carries up 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids through the Straits of Mackinac each day.

“This rushed, half-baked legislation to advance the Snyder/Enbridge tunnel scheme is a diversion from the real issue that Michigan simply doesn’t need Line 5,” Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation and a member of the Governor’s Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, stated. “The legislation attempts to keep the existing Line 5 threatening our water, economy and way of life for at least another decade while ignoring the safer alternatives for meeting Michigan’s energy needs. That’s a good deal for Enbridge and their lobbyists at the Capitol. It’s a bad deal for Michigan.”

SB 1197, introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) passed 25-13 on mostly partisan lines and creates new authority – instead of assigning the Mackinac Bridge Authority the responsibility – composed of a 3-member board appointed by Governor Rick Snyder which will be required to approve a tunnel agreement between Governor Rick Snyder and Enbridge. The legislation can be viewed here.

A series of reports commissioned by National Wildlife Federation from London Economics, International, showed that Upper Peninsula propane supplies would not be affected by the decommissioning of Line 5 if alternative means of transportation were utilized. A fact sheet summarizing the reports is available here.

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