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Great Lakes Business Network urges Gov. Whitmer to change ‘risky’ Line 5 tunnel plan

It’s high time to decommission Line 5, which poses imminent threat to Great Lakes, the GLBN says.
Great Lakes Business Network
Great Lakes Business Network(GLBN)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 10:20 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (Press Release) - The Great Lakes Business Network (GLBN) sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Thursday urging the State of Michigan to scrap Enbridge Energy’s risky Line 5 tunnel plan and immediately and permanently remove the pipeline from the Great Lakes.

GLBN members Larry Bell, Rich Bergmann, Juliette King and Bob Sutherland are encouraging Gov. Whitmer to join Attorney General Dana Nessel in protecting the Great Lakes from a Line 5 oil disaster.

“As business leaders, we are extremely concerned about the dangerous status of Line 5, especially in light of the recent revelations that the pipeline had at least two additional strikes from unknown sources that went undetected,” said Larry Bell, owner of Bell’s Brewery. “This tunnel proposal is not the right approach for our Great Lakes. Now is the time for the governor to act on her campaign pledge to remove Line 5 from the Straits of Mackinac.”

“In the past couple months, we’ve seen Enbridge Energy continue to operate outside of the rules and regulations other Michigan businesses are held to,” said Rich Bergmann, owner of Round Lake Group LLC. “Governor Whitmer must hold Enbridge accountable and revoke the Line 5 operating easement in the Straits immediately to prioritize the health of the Great Lakes and regional economy.”

Instead of the tunnel, GLBN members are calling for the state to implement the alternative modes of propane delivery identified by the U.P. Energy Task Force and London Economics International report, and redirect millions of state dollars currently allocated to supporting the tunnel toward building green jobs and a resilient, clean energy economy.

“The Great Lakes Business Network does not support constructing a tunnel designed to lock Michigan into a fossil fuel future that will put our health, economy and environment at risk for 99 more years,” said Juliette King, project manager for King Orchards. “Michigan should be pursuing projects that will benefit our citizens and preserve the health and accessibility of our natural resources, rather than a tunnel project that lacks real benefits for our state.”

“Northern Michigan has lived with the threat of an oil spill from the Line 5 pipeline for too long,” said Bob Sutherland, CEO and president of Cherry Republic. “I applaud the attorney general’s swift and strong response to protecting our Great Lakes and ask the governor to join her by taking immediate action to remove this threat to our water, economy and way of life.”

Read the full letter here.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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