Climate change must be factored into Line 5 tunnel decision, commission rules

LANSING – Groups released statements today after the Michigan Public Service Commission (MSPC) ruled that climate change must be a factor in determining the need for Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 tunnel.

“The National Wildlife Federation applauds the Commissioners for reversing course to ensure Michigan is moving towards a clean energy economy, which undoubtedly should not include an expansion of a 70-year-old oil pipeline,” said Beth Wallace, Freshwater Campaigns Manager for the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center. “Enbridge continues to mislead the public that a tunnel will be built. This decision, and additional permitting challenges Enbridge faces, proves we can’t continue to allow the failing Line 5 pipeline to operate in the Great Lakes – Line 5 must be shut down on May 12.”

“We applaud the MPSC for requiring a full look at the climate impacts of Line 5, including all the carbon emitting fossil fuel that would flow through the line during its 99-year lease." said Sean Hammond, policy director at Michigan Environmental Council. “Though we are disappointed that the commission will allow only a cursory review of the public need of this Line, this is a large step in the right direction in our urgent fight against climate change.”

“Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council commends the Michigan Public Service Commission for acknowledging the significant climate implications the Line 5 pipeline and tunnel application will have on Michigan’s environment, economy, and citizens and for allowing for all necessary evidence to be considered. Assessing the climate risks will ensure there is a robust analysis and that the final decision is based on sound science,” said Jennifer McKay, policy director for Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. “Should the tunnel become a reality, Michigan is handcuffed to a century of continued use of fossil fuels. This will result in an increase in droughts, severe storms, and flooding events that can amplify the risk of erosion, sewage overflow, and flood damage.”

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