We strongly support the Michigan Public Service Commission’s decision to include the impact on our climate when it decides whether to allow construction of a Line 5 oil tunnel that would contribute 57 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Michigan’s energy future should not include a 99-year commitment to supporting fossil fuels in an oil pipeline Michigan doesn’t need. Michigan should also not be shouldering the financial burden of owning an underwater tunnel in the Great Lakes for 99 years, regardless of whether or not Enbridge continues to operate Line 5.
Line 5 is damaged, dangerous and old. Built nearly 70 years ago, it was intended to only operate safely for 50 years. Enbridge wants to get another 99 years out of Line 5 and do so by constructing a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac to house the pipeline.
What today's historic decision by the MPSC acknowledges is the reality that greenhouse gases are a pollutant and must be taken into account in deciding whether Enbridge should be allowed to transport fossil fuels through Line 5 for the next 99 years. As MPSC chair Dan Scripps pointed out, what’s inside the pipeline matters as much as the pipeline itself in considering the impacts of this proposed oil tunnel project. In this major respect, the commission is appropriately looking forward and taking into account the impact Line 5 has on our climate.
"Greenhouse gases are a pollutant and must be taken into account in deciding whether Enbridge should be allowed to transport fossil fuels through Line 5 for the next 99 years." - Oil & Water Don't Mix campaign
In another respect, the commission rejected the idea that it should evaluate the entire 645-mile long pipeline when it decides whether there is a public need for a four-mile-long oil tunnel that would be bored and blasted for months on end through the Straits of Mackinac. This is short-sighted and aligns with Enbridge’s view that a review of Line 5 by the MPSC should be narrow.