Despite reports in the media that a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac for Enbridge Line 5 is a done deal - IT IS NOT! The backroom deal struck between former Gov. Snyder and Enbridge is full if troubling issues. There are several things that would need to happen, and unless our governer acts, this bad idea could become a reality.
Some troubling facts surrounding the Snyder-Enbridge oil tunnel deal:
- Increases the Risk to the Great Lakes – Line 5 would keep pumping 23 million gallons of oil per day through the Straits of Mackinac during a decade of tunnel construction if ever built; adding minor safety measures won't prevent a catastrophic spill.
- Ignores the Law – The agreement attempts to bypass Michigan’s public trust and environmental laws that protect the Great Lakes and require the pursuit of alternatives by applying the 1950’s law that authorized the iconic Mackinac Bridge to support the exploration of an oil tunnel.
- Ties Mackinac Bridge to Private Oil Tunnel – Snyder’s pact seeks to saddle the Mackinac Bridge Authority with owning the risky tunnel and leasing it for 99 years to Enbridge, which is notorious for major oil spills in Michigan and misleading regulators about Line 5’s condition in the Straits.
- Lacks Full Oil Spill Insurance – The pact calls for Enbridge to provide only $1.88 billion in financial "assurances," the low end of the estimated range of up to $6.3 billion in likely damage to the environment and economy from a Line 5 oil spill in the Straits. The DNR has proven that Enbridge does not have these assurances in place.
- Risks an Explosion and Oil Spill – Proposing to combine a replacement Line 5 crude oil pipeline in a tunnel with natural gas and/or electric lines would increase the risk of an explosion and catastrophic oil spill from failed design, materials, or operation.
- Continues to Threaten Our Climate - If a tunnel is built, it solidifies Michigan's role in transporting climate-warming fossil fuels well into the next century at the same time urgent and dire warnings from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) call for an immediate reduction in the use of fossil fuels.