Voices of support: Line 5 Straits tunnel



Enbridge stands ready to build an underground tunnel to house Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac.

Through a series of agreements with the State of Michigan, we committed to develop and build this tunnel beneath the Straits—a $500-million private investment in Michigan—while ensuring the safe operation of the existing dual lines at the Straits until the replacement line is complete.

We believe our Line 5 Straits tunnel plan is the best way to ensure continued energy supply in Michigan, and avoid major disruptions and price increases that would result if Line 5 were shot down prior to completion of the tunnel.

We’re not alone. Public support for our Line 5 tunnel plan has come from elected officials, policy experts, business owners, media columnists and editorial boards—from Michigan and elsewhere.

See below for a sampling of their comments.

Nov. 4, 2019

Michigan should honor the law it passed. If Whitmer and Nessel believe the law requires revising, the appropriate response is to return to the Legislature and negotiate. But unilaterally rejecting enacted legislation because a new governor and attorney general oppose it sends a terrible message that this is a state governed by political whim rather than the rule of law.

—Radio host and Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley

Oct. 23, 2019

Efforts by some to shut down the pipeline have thrown our energy and economic security into doubt . . . it is not reasonable to cut off a significant part of our energy supply and stop what could be one of Michigan’s most significant infrastructure projects since the Mackinac Bridge—a project that would actually protect our environment while also protecting family budgets and our economy.

—Mike Cox, Michigan's Attorney General from 2003 through 2011

Oct. 22, 2019

Without the tunnel project, our local communities would also lose tens of millions in local tax revenue. The pipeline it will house generates property taxes, sales and use taxes, and income taxes. That means investment we rely on for our local schools, our local roads, and our local services. In fact, in many communities, it’s the single largest taxpayer.

—Joe Bonovetz, a Gogebic County commissioner, and Grand Traverse County Commission chairman Rob Hentschel

Sept. 18, 2019

To move this quantity of crude over this distance by rail or truck would be so costly, so detrimental to the environment, damaging to our infrastructure, and so dangerous, that a pipeline is the only logical solution. Proposing that it be shut down is reckless and irresponsible. Dana Nessel has either been totally inept at gathering and evaluating the facts, or she has purposely misrepresented the facts, clearly demonstrating that she is not qualified to be the Attorney General.”

—Dan Harrington, owner of U.P. Propane in Iron Mountain, MI

Sept. 3, 2019

“If Nessel fairly communicated both sides of the issue, she would note that Line 5 has been in use since 1953 without a leak into the Great Lakes. She would also point out that a new, already planned utility tunnel would house Line 5, making an already safe pipeline even safer . . . It seems inexplicable why the Whitmer administration doesn’t seek to resume talks with Enbridge officials, and allow the tunnel project to proceed.”

—Chris Ventura, executive director, Consumer Energy Alliance

Aug. 30, 2019

“Michigan is a hard-working state. We take pride in doing tough, blue-collar jobs. If Enbridge shuts down, the jobs of pipeline operators, steel workers, manufacturers, and many others will be threatened. With less tax revenue, the state will have to fill a $40 million hole in their already stretched budget.”

—Tom Paulsen, Sterling Heights business owner and lifelong Michigan resident

Aug. 26, 2019

“Forcing the closure of the pipeline in two years — instead of allowing Enbridge to relocate it to the tunnel in five years — will cost the region thousands of high-paying, blue-collar jobs, raise fuel prices and needlessly risk oil and gas spills along railroads and highways. These are the consequences of political gamesmanship gone too far.”

—Daniel J. Dew (Buckeye Institute) and Jason Hayes (Mackinac Center for Public Policy)

Aug. 21, 2019

“Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and some in the environmental community appear to be operating in a sort of fantasy world—where facts and real-life experiences can be discounted—because they are blinded by their own political motivations when it comes to discussing the future of Line 5. Theirs is a world where all relevant facts are ignored or derided as political cover-ups. Common truths—like the need for energy, the critical nature of jobs and economics, security of the current lines, and that building the energy corridor tunnel (at no cost to taxpayers) is the fastest path to removing the current lines from the straits—are simply dismissed.”

—Michigan Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan),
Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) and Rep. Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock)

Aug. 20, 2019

“We have the best engineers anywhere in the world. We have the best tradespeople, the laborers, the construction workers, the equipment operators. We can design it; we can formulate it; we can build it. We can produce the safest tunnel anywhere in the world. We can do it here in Michigan.”

—Michigan Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City)

Aug. 14, 2019

“Prematurely decommissioning a project like Line 5 and halting investments in critical energy transmission infrastructure would immediately disrupt the energy supply for Michigan residents, businesses and U.S. refineries. Jobs will be lost.”

—Steve Bucci, The Heritage Foundation

Aug. 3, 2019

“The ongoing debate over upgrading Michigan’s Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac is a telling example of political dysfunction threatening our nation’s infrastructure . . . lawsuits aimed at stopping new infrastructure are not helpful, and . . . will actually undermine environmental safety in the long run, a key fact we need to keep in mind when evaluating our transportation and infrastructure industries.”

—Brigham McCown, former COO, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

July 18, 2019

“If Line 5 was eliminated we’d probably see increased fuel costs for those locations as well. So we want to make sure that we’re being sound stewards of the environment, and we also want to make sure we protect the economic viability of the Upper Peninsula for everyone who lives here.”

—Nate Heffron, City Manager, Negaunee, MI

July 17, 2019

“If the politicians stop pandering to environmental extremists and give the tunnel the go-ahead, Michigan in a few short years will have protected both its lakes and its energy supplies.”

—Nolan Finley, Detroit News columnist

June 27, 2019

“Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s lawsuit Thursday to shut down an aging, underwater oil pipeline, as well as halt a $500-million replacement tunnel project, could result in huge economic harm to Michigan and Toledo area refineries and perhaps to the general public.”

—Editorial board, Toledo Blade