A resolution in support of building a tunnel for Canadian oil in the Straits of Mackinac was introduced by Grand Traverse County Commissioner Brad Jewett. The Resolution will pass without your input.
The resolution was introduced for a vote in the August 7 but tabled essentially because two commissioners were absent. Thankfully, a tremendous turnout of people speaking against the resolution helped to delay a vote.
Commissioners are scheduling another vote on Wednesday, August 21. We will still need the in-person turnout, but to make the most significant impact we need Grand Traverse County residents to contact their specific Commissioners now.
Personal, direct, polite conversations pointing out why the Resolution risks everything we hold dear about Grand Traverse County is how we can prevent the resolution from being passed, and how we prevent Enbridge from "planting a flag" in the epicenter of the work to shut down Line 5. We don't understand the motivation behind this motion, but we do understand our duty to protect Grand Traverse County from this pipeline.
We know that building an oil tunnel for Enbridge to move mostly Canadian oil threatens the Great Lakes and would threaten Grand Traverse County residents directly. A tunnel in the future does nothing to protect the Great Lakes right now.
When you contact your Commissioner, it's important to speak to why it is important for you to protect the water. Share your personal reasons why you are taking the time out of your day to protect the water for you, your family, and future residents of Michigan and Grand Traverse County.
The Commissioners already have the facts (listed below), but need to hear why you are inspired to have them vote no on this resolution.
- First of all, a tunnel would take years to permit and years to build. All the while, Line 5 continues to pump through the open waters of the Great Lakes, and every day risks rupture that would ruin not only Grand Traverse County's economy but the entirety Michigan's tourism economy.
- Even if built, a tunnel would not prevent the 66-year-old Line 5 from crossing 400 other lakes, rivers, streams, and marshes as it makes its way back to Sarnia, Canada.
- Line 5 runs next to at least 50 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in the U.P. where it crosses several rivers and streams that empty into the Lake.
- There are alternatives to provide propane to the U.P. - consider the newly formed U.P. Energy Task Force to examine and put in place alternatives to Line 5 propane.
- Grand Traverse County Commissioners passed a resolution in February 2016 calling for the decommission of Line 5.
- We must transition away from the use of fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of a warming climate that are already wreaking havoc on Michigan and GT County.
It's also important to let them know that the proposed Resolution (listed below) is full of Enbridge talking points and inaccuracies. See our notes in RED BOLD next to the text of the proposed Resolution.
Resolution in Support of Line 5 Tunnel
WHEREAS, Enbridge’s Line 5 has been operating safely and reliably in Michigan for
more than 65 years; and, (Line 5 has leaked 33 times and spilled 1.1 million
gallons into Michigan's environment, and it's 66-, not 65-years-old)
WHEREAS, Enbridge’s Line 5, a light crude and natural gas liquids pipeline, helps to
safely meet Michigan’s energy needs by fulfilling more than half of the propane needs of the
state; and, (Only 0.25% of the volume of Line 5 is offloaded in Rapid River
to supply propane to 19,000 homes in the central U.P. Other suppliers
who don't rely on Line 5 can provide propane to the rest of Michigan.)
WHEREAS, the products delivered to regional refineries provide jobs and ultimately fuel
our lives; and, (Over 95% of the product in Line 5 returns to Canada, much of it to
Montreal and world markets via the recently reversed Line 9.)
WHEREAS, multiple and extensive inspections and safety tests over the last several
years have confirmed the integrity of Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac as fit for service; and,
(Line 5 continues to break stipulation the easement that requires a maximum
of 75' unsupported span, in early August 2019 a new 81' gap opened beneath the pipeline.)
WHEREAS, Enbridge has proposed to invest $500 million to make a safe pipeline safer
by placing a tunnel with one-foot-thick concrete walls 100 feet underground and make the
changes of a leak into the Straits virtually zero; and, (Enbridge has refuses to agree to
an end date to remove the existing Line 5 from the open waters of the Great Lakes.)
WHEREAS, consequences to energy supply, local producers, regional airports and
refineries, jobs, local economies and the pocketbook of Michiganders across the entire state are
too great for Line 5 to be shut down before the tunnel replacement can be completed; (these are Enbridge talking
points that are not supported by Enbridge-funded Risks & Alternatives Study. FACT: Line 5
provides 98 jobs in Michigan. FACT: Gas prices may rise 1 to 2 cents/gallon without Line 5.)
WHEREAS, within Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties BATA (Bay Area
Transportation Authority) busses run clean emission free propane, a fuel which is transported
through Line 5, to offer vehicle life cycle greenhouse (GHG) emissions benefits over
conventional fuels, (There is no evidence the propane in BATA buses are transported over Line 5,
and there is no such thing as "emission free propane.")
WHEREAS, Enbridge has demonstrated a willingness to work with the state to both
protect the Great Lakes and ensure the continued safe delivery of energy we all rely on. (Enbridge broke
off negotiations with Gov. Whitmer and sued the State of Michigan in an attempt to revive agreements
with Gov. Snyder that have been ruled unconstitutional.)
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Grand Traverse County Board of
Commissioners hereby joins with Dickinson County in extending it’s support for Enbridge’s
proposed tunnel replacement project and urges the State of Michigan to work with Enbridge to
complete the tunnel project as quickly as possible and not disrupt Line 5 service before the
tunnel can be completed; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Grand Traverse County sends this resolution to all
counties of Michigan as an invitation to join in expressing support for increasing the safety of
our current energy infrastructure as our society simultaneously seeks energy efficiencies and
energy alternatives that will continue to reduce negative impacts and risks to our environment.
LOCATE YOUR COMMISSIONER
Find your home on the map to discover the name of your Commissioner, or you can look up your Commissioner here.
The Commissioners listed in bold are most likely to support this Resolution.
|Ron Clous||District 5, Vice Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org||231-590-3316|
|Betsy Coffia||District email@example.com||231-714-9598|
|Brad Jewett (introduced resolution)||District firstname.lastname@example.org||231-633-9421|
|Rob Hentschel||District 7, Chairemail@example.com||231-946-4277|
|Bryce Hundley||District firstname.lastname@example.org||231-753-8602|
|Gordie LaPointe||District email@example.com||231-409-2607|
|Addison "Sonny" Wheelock||District firstname.lastname@example.org||231-947-3277|
Use the talking points above to have a civil and polite conversation. Make sure to state your address and that you are his/her constituent! Get double points by asking for an in-person meeting with your Commissioner!
Once you've made the call or sent an email, please report your contact below.
Please ask others (friends, neighbors, relatives) to do the same. Direct contact with your Commissioner is the best way to show them that this Resolution is not in the best interests of Grand Traverse County residents.
Report your contact below. The deadline is Tuesday, August 20.