Coalition Stresses Importance of Line 5 Pipeline as Whitmer’s Deadline Approaches

In November Governor Whitmer ordered Enbridge to shut down it’s Line 5 pipeline by May 12. The Canadian company has maintained they will continue operations despite the order.

A coalition met with the house transportation committee and some members of the committee were concerned that there was no solution on how to keep up oil distribution at the current level. “We’re actually talking about shutting down a pipeline with no plan, no logistics, no explanation, no valuable logistical plan to replace it,” said Beth Griffin, representative of the 66th district.

The biggest concern of those on the other side of the aisle is the risk of a catastrophic leak in the pipeline. At a senate hearing today, Senator Marshall Bullock shared his fears. “At some point something is going to happen,” he said. “The reason we’re here is because an anchor, not just once, multiple strikes against this line has happened.”

Executive Director of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association Jason Geer maintains the pipeline posed little to no threat to the Great Lakes. “Risk is inherent with everything that we do,” he said. “This pipeline is well protected and well built and continues to be monitored 24/7. We have this new service monitoring ships crossing. We’ve pretty much done everything we could possibly do to make sure nothing will go wrong.”

Scott Hayes of PBF Refinery located in Toledo Ohio said his company relies heavily on the Line 5 pipeline and without it other countries would take over the industry and cause more pollution. “The demand for petroleum is going to continue to go up for generations in the world, not just this country, but in the world, but if we’re making those product overseas we’re wounding and harming the climate footprint and the planet,” he said. “The cleanest place to do it is here.”

Governor Whitmer said if Line 5 is still operating after the deadline, she will consider all Enbridge profits to be property of Michigan.