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MPSC Approves Oil Tunnel Permit

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) announced today that they are approving siting for Enbridge’s Line 5 Great Lakes expansion project, the largest underwater hazardous liquids tunnel ever proposed, in the worst spot in the Great Lakes for an oil spill.

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With this action, the Michigan Public Service Commission is putting Michigan in uncharted, dangerous territory while ignoring warnings by independent industry experts who testified during the MPSC’s proceedings; never before has an oil tunnel that also carries other hazardous liquids been built in one of the most ecologically sensitive spots on Earth.

MPSC Commissioners

MPSC Commisionners at December 1, 2023 Meeting

Before moving forward, the proposed tunnel must still pass a comprehensive federal environmental study. There is still an open question whether Enbridge intends to build the tunnel or is simply using the project as a diversion and delay from shutting down the existing twin oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac. As recently as October, an independent study determined that the tunnel and Line 5 are unnecessary. Moreover, the Line 5 tunnel will worsen the impacts of the climate crisis by adding 27 million metric tons of polluting and climate-altering carbon into the atmosphere, equivalent to ten coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now working on the third and final permitting decision for the Line 5 carbon bomb tunnel. Families, businesses, and Michigan communities cannot be left out of this decision-making process. They need immediate action, and President Joe Biden could do that right now by revoking the presidential permit for Line 5.

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