Tell Michigan Lawmakers to Support Shutting Down Line 5
Please help by writing or emailing your state senator and representative today to seek their support for shutting down Line 5 in the Mackinac Straits and their opposition to the rush to make the Mackinac Bridge Authority the owner for at least 99 years of a private oil tunnel to replace it. We need lawmakers to speak up for protecting the Great Lakes and our Pure Michigan jobs and speak out against the actions of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who has bypassed his own advisory board and state law to cut a side deal with Line 5-owner Enbridge to quickly study tunneling under the Straits as a replacement route for Line 5. The governor’s tunnel vision would lock Michigan into another 60-plus years of serving as a high-risk underwater shortcut for Canadian oil that ultimately crosses by pipeline under the St. Clair River and returns to Canada for refining in Sarnia, Ontario.
Here's how to do it:
Dear [enter name of your state senator or representative],
I am writing as your constituent to seek your support for shutting down Enbridge’s decaying Line 5 oil pipelines in the Mackinac Straits and your opposition to the rush to make the Mackinac Bridge Authority the owner for at least 99 years of a private oil tunnel to replace it.
This is an urgent matter. Gov. Snyder’s proposal to spend seven years or more tunneling an oil pipeline under the Straits will not solve Line 5’s immediate threat to the Great Lakes, our drinking water, and the Pure Michigan economy. A tunnel also would do nothing to address the risk posed by the pipeline’s more than 400 stream and river crossings in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
We have much to lose. A Line 5 oil spill in the Mackinac Straits could deliver a $6 billion blow to Michigan’s economy from damage to tourism, natural resources, coastal property values, commercial fishing, and municipal water systems, according to a recent study by a Michigan State University economist commissioned by FLOW (For Love of Water) in Traverse City.
This risk is real. On April 1, an anchor slammed into Line 5 in the Mackinac Straits and dented and gouged the twin oil pipelines, while also severing two submerged electric cables and spilling their toxic dielectric fluid into the water. It was at least the second significant strike of Line 5 in the Straits, according to Enbridge’s inspection data. Will the next blow rupture the 65-year-old steel pipelines and dump some of their daily haul of 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids into the heart of the Great Lakes?
Most of Line 5’s oil serves Canada, not Michigan, which is rapidly adding clean jobs by shifting to wind and solar. A tunnel option also could spur Enbridge to seek a court order lifting the State of Michigan’s ban on tar sands in Line 5 that it agreed to in 2015.
It deeply concerns me that Line 5 has exceeded its life expectancy and is more than two decades older than Enbridge’s pipeline that ruptured and dumped a million gallons of heavy tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River watershed in 2010.
Let’s uphold the law. A Canadian tunnel under the Mackinac Straits is not permissible under Michigan’s Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act, Michigan Environmental Protection Act, common law public trust doctrine, or the 1836 Treaty with Michigan Tribes protecting the Straits fishing grounds. Enbridge by law must prove there are no other alternatives to Line 5 in or under the Straits, when in fact other alternatives exist.
There’s no time to waste. The only way to prevent an environmental and economic catastrophe from a Great Lakes oil is to shut down Line 5 now. Please urge Governor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette to do their legal duty by placing protection of the public’s waters above a Canadian company’s private pursuit of profit. And please reply to me regarding your position on shutting down Line 5 and opposing a pipeline tunnel to replace it.
[Be sure to include your signature, name, address, and contact information.]