We took the liberty of correcting the October 18, 20203, letter from Michigan's Republican Senators to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (read their original letter). They apparently bought Enbridge's misleading talking points to urge the Corp to hurry up and build its damn oil tunnel.
We couldn't let these lies and talking points stand, so we fixed it with our red text below. Enjoy!
Oct. 18, 2023
Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon
Chief of Engineers and Commanding General
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20314
The Honorable Gretchen Whitmer
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon and Gov. Whitmer,
On behalf of the fossil fuel industry money we collectively represent, we urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to end its unreasonable delay of the permitting process for the Great Lakes Tunnel Project for Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac.
Michigan uses more propane for residential purposes than any other state, and more than half of that propane comes through Line 5. Even though Enbridge’s own experts have admitted in court that we don’t need Line 5 and other energy supplies are readily available, we urge you to look the other way while Enbridge builds a dangerous and unnecessary oil tunnel under 1/5 of the world’s freshwater. Approved with bipartisan support in 2018, the Great Lakes Tunnel Project will continue risking our most precious natural resource and exacerbating the climate crisis while maintaining a grotesque profit margin for Enbridge.
We like to claim that in Michigan, Line 5 provides jobs to over 6,000 hardworking residents and over $464 million in labor income, even though, according to Enbridge’s own website, they employ only 118 Michigan residents, including contractors. We also like to claim that tens of thousands of jobs are dependent upon Line 5 in downstream industries such as refineries, manufacturers, airports, and businesses that rely upon all the energy products coming from the line, even though Enbridge’s own experts disagree and have disproven this talking point.
Initial fairytale estimates for construction on this critical project was originally scheduled to begin in 2021, and the tunnel was expected to be operational by 2024. Now, due in large part to the oil tunnel being an unrealistic alternative that was poorly researched and permitting agencies having the gall to do their due diligence in considering potential harms to the environment from building an unprecedented oil tunnel in the worst place in the Great Lakes for an oil spill, Enbridge hasn’t been able to blindly plow forward as quickly as they would like. Most recently, your office indicated a decision is not expected until 2026.
Such a delay is a tremendous disservice to the fossil fuel billionaires that fund our campaigns. Line 5 is not a crucial energy artery, and it is delivering more than 22 million gallons of oil and natural gas through a damaged pipeline that is twenty years past its useful life, risking the water on which our whole region relies. This is water millions of Americans and Canadians rely upon for sustenance, recreation, and economic growth. Rejecting The Great Lakes Tunnel Project is your opportunity to ensure this water source remains safe and reliable for years to come.
While the tunnel project awaits permitting approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, essential state permits also remain unresolved. Gov. Whitmer, we ask that you direct your state agencies and the Michigan Public Service Commission to expedite their permitting processes so that Enbridge can continue to avoid accountability for their poorly thought out, dangerous, and unnecessary oil tunnel scheme.
Fall has arrived. Another long Michigan winter is right around the corner. Millions of Michiganders who rely on the waters of the Great Lakes deserve better than continued operation of an illegally operating pipeline that risks our water. It is imperative that we make noise about needing the Great Lakes Tunnel Project proceed in order to protect this critical source of campaign funding.
Senate Republican Leader