Whitmer, Dems Rally in Chippewa County; Express Concern Over State’s New Agreement with Enbridge

“We need to do it now. This is a team effort, a team effort. One group, one campaign,” Democratic Candidate for State Senate Jim Page said.

A rallying call from democrats Sunday as Democratic Nominee for Governor Gretchen Whitmer spent the day in the Upper Peninsula.

Fellow democratic candidates and supporters joined Whitmer Sunday morning in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

A large crowd greeted the nominee, asking questions on a variety of issues.

A lot of the discussion focused on the controversial Line 5 pipeline and the state’s new agreement with Enbridge.

“I don’t think the governor should bind the hands of the next governor on his way out the door these are serious issues that need to be debated in the full light of day,” Whitmer said.

In front of a crowd of blue-voting Yoopers, Gretchen Whitmer called the Enbridge deal “last-minute,” and says she doesn’t support it.

“These last-minute, in the closet deals impact our lives and our livelihood, that’s why I’m against what Governor Snyder has announced,” Whitmer added.

The state’s agreement with Enbridge will shut down the existing line 5 pipeline and require the company to pay for and construct a tunnel where a new line will lay, under the Straits of Mackinac.

Construction could take seven to 10 years to complete.

“We shouldn’t be trusting the company that has deceived us over and over again to do this right,” Whitmer added.

According to the new agreement, The Mackinac Bridge Authority will own and oversee the operation of the tunnel.

“I learned about it less than 24 hours before the public did and I have learned very little since then,” Mackinac Bridge Authority Board Vice Chair Barbara Brown said.

Brown, a supporter of Whitmer’s, says the board was given little-to-no notice before the deal with Enbridge was signed.

“To tarnish our reputation and to give away our statutory protections to a polluting, lying, foreign for-profit company is nothing less than shameful,” Brown added.

Democrats across Northern Michigan are making this deal a primary issue in the weeks before Election Day.

“This tunnel thing, we are very concerned about it up here,” said a voter.

“I’m really skeptical of the tunnel plan, I’ve not seen anything that makes me think this is a truly feasible approach but when we talk about re-investing infrastructure, we need to be open to new ideas,” Democratic Nominee for Congress Matt Morgan said.

“The next governor of Michigan should be at the helm when that decision is made, this resource of ours the Great Lakes, the Mackinac Bridge that belongs to all of us,” Whitmer added.

To see the full report on the new agreement and the statement from Enbridge, click here.