Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration has revoked the original easement for the Line 5 Pipeline that lets the pipeline operate for 4.5 miles across the Straits of Mackinac. This order jeopardizes critical tax revenue for the local and state economies, energy access for residents and thousands of jobs - many belonging to Local 798 members in Michigan. The battle over Line 5 heightened in 2020 when Gov. Whitmer announced she was seeking a state court injunction to force Enbridge to shut down Line 5 and “permanently decommission” the pipeline, even though the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal regulator that oversees the pipeline, had said that it is “aware of no unsafe or hazardous conditions that would warrant shutdown of Line 5.”
We submitted the below petition to Gov. Whitmer in March 2021 with 3,209 signatures and again in July with a total of 4,055 signatures. We will continue to collect signatures on this petition, as we anticipate other opportunities this year to send a louder message to the governor to stop playing politics with the energy needs and anxieties of U.S. consumers and businesses that depend on Line 5!
Dear Governor Whitmer:
I continue to stand with Pipeliners Local 798 in support of Enbridge’s Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project. Shutting down the replacement of Line 5, a $500 million private investment, puts Michigan’s energy and economic future at serious risk as a result of a major disruption of the state's energy supply.
The concerns raised by your administration regarding Line 5 focus on the threat of an oil spill in the Straits and how that would harm the economy, environment and enjoyment of the Great Lakes. However, Enbridge continues to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining a high level of safety, including the diligent 24/7 monitoring of the Straits crossing, regular inspections and operating the line at less than 25 percent of its maximum design capabilities to minimize stress on the pipeline steel and enhance safety. Also, Enbridge has a proactive inspection program to monitor the fitness of Line 5. This includes evaluating every inch of the pipeline interior every five years using in-line inspection tools that provide detail on par with MRIs in the medical industry. Preventing this project from moving forward in light of all these protections is harmful to Michigan's energy and economic future.
In 2018 alone, Enbridge paid nearly $8 million in base salary to Michigan employees and approximately $60 million in property taxes in the state for its energy infrastructure projects, which was then invested in schools, roads and bridges and other important public services. Line 5 will create many good paying construction jobs, secure access to reliable energy for businesses and homes across the state, and generate significant economic activity in the project area.
The company has previously entered into agreements with the state of Michigan, outlining actions Enbridge is taking to protect the state’s water bodies within the project footprint, including implementing additional safety measures to mitigate impacts and overall increased coordination with the state regarding operations and maintenance of Line 5. Enbridge also entered into a subsequent agreement with the state that puts in place enhanced inspection and operations protocols for the project.
Enbridge continues to address concerns raised by environmentalists and government officials in regards to the safety of Line 5 and has demonstrated a clear plan to finish construction by 2021 in order to safely and efficiently deliver energy to homes and businesses across the state. This is why I am concerned your administration continues to play politics with the employment opportunities for union workers and the energy needs of U.S. consumers and businesses that depend on Line 5.
Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project Supporter
**Local 798 may submit your name to other local and state decision makers in support of Line 5.**