The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan is calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to shut down oil transport through Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac unless the state can guarantee the controversial pipeline’s safety.
In a resolution signed by Bishop Whayne M. Hougland Jr., the influential diocese, which represents 8,000 Episcopalians from the Indiana-Michigan border to portions of Mackinaw City—including Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Manistee, Cadillac, Traverse City and Petoskey—the church said protecting the integrity of creation and sustaining life guarantees the right of every human to safe, clean water. The resolution cited the threat of severe damage and loss from a Line 5 pipeline rupture as reasons for the governor to shut off the flow of oil through the Straits of Mackinac.
“A powerful message is now coming from three major religious leaders in Michigan who are asking the governor to act now to protect the Great Lakes from a catastrophic oil spill,” said Gary Street, a resident of Cheboygan County and church member who assisted the Diocese in drafting the resolution. “As people of faith we are stewards of God’s creation and Bishop Hougland's leadership on this issue is critically important.”
“As people of faith we are stewards of God’s creation and Bishop Hougland's leadership on this issue is critically important.”
Episcopal Dioceses in Eastern and Northern Michigan have also endorsed similar resolutions. Other religious groups to endorse the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign to date include Central United Methodist Church, Church and Society of Detroit, IHM Sisters, Justice Peace Sustainability of Detroit as well as 67 local cities, townships, counties and tribal organizations have endorsed shutting down Line 5 oil through the Straits.