Environmentalists Claim Line 5 Tunnel Would Have Large Climate Consequences

Climate experts are presenting evidence to the Michigan Public Service Commission on why the proposed tunnel for Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline would have a huge impact on the environment.

It’s being seen as a huge milestone for environmentalist groups.

“This is really history making, because for the first time in Michigan, the potential climate impacts of a proposed project, a fossil fuel infrastructure, are being considered during a hearing under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act,” said Kate Madigan, executive director of Michigan Climate Action Network.

Madigan said denying the permit for a tunnel, as well as putting Line 5 out of commission, would be a step in the right direction.

“We all know that we want to be moving into the future, there are lots of jobs in the future, it’s a cleaner future, and we’re also solving the climate crisis by moving faster in that direction as well,” said Madigan.

Madigan further stated that if Enbridge is allowed to build a tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac, there could be a severe impact on the environment.

“Allowing a line five tunnel would result in climate emissions, equal to about 10 coal power plants every year, or the exhaust from about six million cars every year,” explained Madigan.

Enbridge disagrees with the impact the tunnel would have.

Enbridge Spokesperson Ryan Duffy said in a statement, “Compared to the alternatives of truck, rail, or lake-going barges, pipelines are the safest mode of transport for moving fuel. Pipelines have lower emissions and are more reliable and affordable. Placing the pipeline in the Great Lakes Tunnel also better protects the Great Lakes over the long-term.”