UP Energy Task Force Examines Propane Needs in Upper Peninsula

One-on-One with EGLE Director & Task Force Chair Liesl Clark

The UP Energy Task Force met in St. Ignace Friday with new data on how different situations could impact propane supplies.

Since last summer, the UP Energy Task Force has been talking with experts and citizens on propane needs in the Upper Peninsula.

“We’ve worked a ton of public comment into this, and we want to hear from people,” said Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy Director Liesl Clark.

Clark is also chairperson of the UP Energy Task Force. She says their main goal right now….

“If there is a propane disruption to the Upper Peninsula what kind of recommendations can we offer the state to be more supportive of our residents,” Clark said.

They are looking at the issue from all sides.

“You have to do your best to have an expansive view and think about how all these pieces fit together,” Clark said.

They were presented with data from an independent contractor Friday.

They found if there were an interruption to Enbridge’s Line 1 in Wisconsin, 85% up to 99% of Upper Peninsula propane users would be impacted.

Also, if there were an interruption to Line 5, 65% to 90% of those using propane in the UP could be impacted.

“I do think it’s important to understand that a disruption to Line 1, disruption to Line 5, has an impact on the state for sure,” Clark said.

She says it’s important to note these are just one set of numbers, and worst case scenarios, but that’s why they are here.

“That’s the point of this task force, is to spend time thinking what’s our plan, what are recommendations that the administration or the legislature can do to help our residents,” Clark said.

How does the push to shut down Line 5 factor in to the task force’s work?

“Certainly a pipeline disruption is one of those, but it’s also extreme weather events, it’s also could we see a change for economic reasons or for other impacting reasons, so it’s a factor but there are a variety of factors that are a part of it,” Clark said.

The UP Energy Task Force is to have their propane recommendations to the Governor and the legislature by March 31st. Then their conversation continues into the greater energy needs of the Upper Peninsula.

To learn more about the UP Energy Task Force, or to them give public comment, click here.