Enbridge and former Governor Snyder made a backroom deal to explore building a tunnel through the Straits of Mackinac. With over 95% of the oil in Line 5 coming from and returning to Canada, it makes little sense for Michigan to build a tunnel for Canadian oil. A tunnel is a bad idea on many levels.
And now Enbridge is abusing their power to continue pressing for a tunnel. They are pushing Gov. Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature, and are getting support from powerful monied interests with influence in Lansing across party lines, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
With a $500 million price tag for a new tunnel, you can be sure Enbridge won't be satisfied until they rebuild the rest of Line 5 to carry tar sands, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. It was tar sands that spilled into the Kalamazoo River in 2010. Oil from tar sands contributes more to climate pollution than other fossil fuels because it is so energy-intensive to refine. Fossil fuel companies will do whatever they can to exploit the vast tar sands reserves in Alberta, Canada (and plan to move them to market via pipelines like the Keystone XL, and an upgraded Line 5), essentially setting off a carbon bomb in the atmosphere.
A tunnel would take several years to plan and build, all while keeping the Great Lakes at risk from the current Line 5 (imagine a 70 or 75-year-old Line 5 before a tunnel is ever completed).
We don’t need to keep the Great Lakes at risk of a catastrophic oil pipeline rupture in the Straits while state officials spend years and taxpayer resources keeping an old oil pipeline running so a Canadian oil transport company can get a new pipeline built in Michigan to transport heavy tar sands oil.