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Local News

Fast-track Line 5 permitting push met with protest


Farah Siddiqi, Producer

Friday, October 20, 2023   

Michigan’s Senate GOP pushed for fast track of Enbridge’s Line 5 tunnel construction at a press conference this week. Sen. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, took to the podium in an energetic plea to keep things moving. 

He said the construction project will create jobs and bring necessary propane that helps heat homes during the winter, calling it viable solution for the state’s energy needs. 

“Make no mistake the attack on line 5 is exactly that -a push to get rid of the oil and gas industry,” Damoose said. “The fact is we could be halfway done with this tunnel right now if everybody would stop dragging their feet and do their jobs.”

Opponents of the Line 5 project say anything short of a shutdown is a grave threat to the environment, tourism, fishing, shipping, and the Great Lakes, the largest body of fresh water in the world.

The pipeline project has long been surrounded by controversy. During the press conference, Damoose expressed frustration with ongoing protests in the upstate region. 

Sean McBrearty, campaign organizer for the advocacy group Oil and Water Don’t Mix, suggested that elected officials should listen to the concerns of Michigan residents instead of refrain from aligning with fossil fuel lobbyists. A dozen tribal nations are urging President Joe Biden to revoke the presidential permit for Enbridge’s Line 5.

“You would think it’s common sense to have Enbridge check all the proper boxes before building new unneeded and polluting fossil fuel infrastructure,” McBrearty said. “Especially since this corporation caused the 2010 pipeline rupture and was the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.”

Construction on Enbridge’s Line 5 project was originally scheduled to begin in 2021, and the tunnel was expected to be opened and operating by 2024. 

Disclosure: Oil and Water Don’t Mix contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environment, Environmental Justice, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

This article is republished from Public News Service under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.