LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Line 5 pipeline was the focus of Michigan conservation groups that met in Washington to press President Biden to support efforts to decommission the line.
Enbridge Energy owns the 68-year-old pipeline that runs under the straits of Mackinac, which has seen efforts from the state to shut it down.
“While Justin Trudeau is busy concerned with the interests of the Canadian oil industry, we need President Biden to be concerned with protecting the interests of the Great Lakes and the people who live here,” said Sean McBrearty of Clean Water Action.
McBrearty met with members of the National Wildlife Federation at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. ahead of today’s meeting between President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The goal: to draw attention to a pipeline that he says is a threat to the Great Lakes.
“We’re supposed to sit there with a 68-year-old corroding pipeline running 23 million gallons a day through the heart of the Great Lakes. Essentially, Enbridge and the Canadian government are trying to make the people of Michigan live with and deal with the impact of a ticking time bomb sitting in the Great Lakes,” continued McBrearty.
McBrearty disputes Enbridge’s claim that the line provides thousands of jobs, saying several hundreds of people are employed by the company in the state.
Rich Studley with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce says that the pipeline’s reach is wider than direct jobs.
“There are jobs throughout the state in distributing propane. Especially to homes and farms in rural where there are not readily available natural gas pipelines,” said Rich Studley President, CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
Studley says that along with jobs from building the Great Lakes Tunnel, green energy companies rely on natural gas during production.
He says efforts from the state government to decommission the line are blocking the pipeline from moving underground as well as harming relations with Canada.
“This is not the way friendly nations or states that are neighbors, treat each other,” said Studley.
Activists against the pipeline spent the day in Washington meeting with Michigan’s congressional delegation to get federal support for the shutdown.
Enbridge said in a statement that they are still working through project permitting for the Great Lakes tunnel.