The battle for the future of Line 5 across the Strait of Mackinac has been raging for years.
As interested parties wait for the underground tunnel to be built, the state’s executive branch and environmentalists say the line must be closed now.
Enbridge, the owner of the line, says it will create a power shortage.
“The orderly shutdown of Line 5 to protect the Great Lakes from an oil spill was blocked based on false information. Enbridge continues to spread to the public and decision makers at all levels,” said Beth Wallace, head of Great Lakes freshwater campaigns for the National Wildlife Federation.
Opponents of Line 5 say it’s an impending environmental disaster.
Enbridge says a spill tunnel is on the way, but it will take time.
The state and environmentalists say the line must be closed now, until the tunnel is completed.
Enbridge says this will cause fuel and heating costs to skyrocket in the Great Lakes region.
These opponents point to new court documents and quotes from an expert hired by Enbridge that say otherwise.
“Mr. Earnest estimates that closing Line 5 will increase gasoline, jet fuel and diesel prices in Michigan and Wisconsin by about half a cent per gallon,” said Douglas Jester of 5 Lakes Energy. .
In a years-long “he said, she said” battle, it’s actually in the document. In a new lawsuit filed against Enbridge by the Bar River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
“What this document shows is that Enbridge knew the price impacts would be around half a cent a gallon and instead of being honest about it they chose to continue to mislead the public. of Michigan into believing there will be shortages and giant price increases,” said Sean McBrearty of Oil & Water Don’t Mix.
Enbridge does not deny the findings, but says they are taken out of context, saying the analysis “examines the potential impact in a scenario where Line 5 has been closed and replacement infrastructure has been built and put into service” .
There are no replacement infrastructure plans in place yet.
“It seems to me that we have to move on with this,” Congressman Bill Huizenga said, “Otherwise we’re just going to double down on our problems.”
Enbridge argues that this analysis was done before the energy crisis the world is currently facing and that any shutdown of any source will be felt, particularly here.
It will ultimately be up to the courts to decide, both in this Bad River lawsuit and in the one brought by the State of Michigan.
“We are awaiting the federal judge in this case,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said, “Our briefing has all been submitted and we are just waiting to hear from the court.”