Enbridge reiterated its intention to Governor Whitmer to construct a tunnel along the Straits of Mackinac, which would replace the existing Line 5, within five years.
The statement continued Enbridge’s April position which, while improving upon the initial 7-10 year estimate, was met with Attorney General Dana Nessel’s declaration that she would begin efforts to force the shutdown of the line if the Governor and Enbridge did not have a deal in place by the end of June.
“We’re working on it,” said Governor Whitmer, when asked about her views on the five-year timeframe. “I think that I am concerned that if we don’t have a date certain on when that pipeline comes out of the water, that the attorney general’s going to want to go to court. I think that going to court creates a lot of uncertainty. We could be watching litigation for a long time and meanwhile the pipeline stays in the bottom of the water and that’s what I'm concerned about.”
“Notwithstanding the safety of Line 5, it is our view the tunnel represents a practical approach to meeting the state’s energy needs while providing the people of Michigan with even greater protection of this crossing to as near zero risk as humanly possible,” said Michael Barnes, spokesperson for Enbridge. “Moreover, Enbridge has undertaken numerous added measures that exceed regulatory requirements.”
Echoing Enbridge, Mike Johnston, MMA vice president of government affairs said that, “MMA encourages Governor Whitmer to continue to work with Enbridge to find ways to move forward on Line 5. We believe the tunnel presents the best solution for the environment and for Michigan’s energy needs.”