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New Poll: Michigan Voters Overwhelmingly Support Shutting Down Line 5

Ann Arbor, MI – A new EPIC-MRA poll shows that a vast majority of likely Michigan voters are concerned about a Line 5 oil spill, and a majority want it shut down, including a majority or a plurality across every region and political party. Voters who want Line 5 shut down are far more likely than those who want it kept open to vote for a candidate based on the candidate’s Line 5 position.

Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 is a 65-year-old oil and natural gas pipeline that splits into two pipelines along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5 carries mostly Canadian product from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ontario, with only small amounts of product utilized or produced in Michigan. Line 5 in the Straits – designed for a 50-year life – has a long history of problems, including missing protective coating and structural supports, and a recently boat anchor strike which dented the pipelines in the Straits in several places and are causing pressure restrictions. This poll is being released as Michigan leaders prepare to gather on Mackinac Island next week, with Line 5 as a key topic for discussion and debate.

“This poll clearly demonstrates that Michiganders of all political stripes are concerned about an oil spill in the Great Lakes and want public officials to do something about it,” said Bernie Porn, president, EPIC-MRA, which conducted the poll.

The poll of likely voters was conducted April 30, 2018, through May 3, 2018, by telephone using land lines and cell phones. The sample size was 600 adults in Michigan. The margin of sampling error is 4 percent. The poll was commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation.

Key findings include:

Concern about a Line 5 oil spill: 87%

87% of Michigan voters are concerned about a Line 5 spill in the Straits of Mackinac, with 64% very concerned and 23% somewhat concerned.

Voters want Line 5 shut down

54% of Michigan voters want Line 5 shut down, compared to only 22% who think Line 5 should continue to operate. 64% of northern Michigan voters want Line 5 shut down, as well as solid majority of Independents and Democrats, and a plurality of Republicans statewide.

Voters who want Line 5 shut down are far more likely to consider it when voting than those who want it kept open

Voters are evenly split on whether they will consider a candidate’s position on Line 5 when voting (46%-46%), but of those who will, 84% are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports keeping Line 5 open.

“Michigan voters are united in their concern about Line 5 and desire for it to be shut down,” said Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation. “Michigan leaders can be assured that voters are behind them when taking action to decommission Line 5. The time for action is now.”

A more detailed polling memo can be downloaded here.

An infographic detailing top-level results can be downloaded here.

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