LANSING – The Michigan Public Service Commission must look at the impacts of climate change when reviewing a proposed oil tunnel that would carry millions of gallons of oil every day beneath the Straits of Mackinac for up to 99 years, over 2000 people wrote in a letter released today,
“Michigan is on a pathway toward cleaner, more affordable energy with Gov. Whitmer’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, yet Enbridge Energy wants to tether our state and our Great Lakes to a tunnel pumping millions of gallons of oil for the foreseeable future,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “The climate crisis is impacting our air, land and water and economy. It is of paramount importance that the Michigan Public Service Commission takes into account climate change as it considers Enbridge’s misguided proposal to lock in our state to another generation of fossil fuels infrastructure under our Great Lakes.”
The letter urges the commission to overturn an earlier decision by Administrative Law Judge Dennis Mack that sided with Enbridge and narrowed the scope of this case so extremely that it excludes evidence about the net increase in climate change that would result from this tunnel. The judge’s decision also excluded evidence about public need and other environmental impacts from the tunnel, which the letter also addressed. The commission is set to meet on Thursday, April 8 and the administrative law judge’s decision has been appealed by several groups.
“All we are asking is for the commission to allow evidence about climate change and other critical issues to be part of their review of this oil tunnel project, so that this decision that is so important to our state is informed by all the facts,” said Peter Laing, operations manager for MAWBY Vineyards and Winery and a member of the Great Lakes Business Network. “The transition to clean energy is underway, and Michigan has all it takes to lead in this transition – from our manufacturing know-how to a commitment to protecting our Great Lakes. Building an oil tunnel would move our state in the wrong direction.”
“Enbridge Energy puts profits over people, which is why the commission needs to take a tougher stance on its review of the Line 5 tunnel,” said Jane TenEyck, executive director of the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority. “If Michigan is going to allow Enbridge to build an oil tunnel through our state, the environmental risks and whether there is a public need for this project must be examined under a microscope or future generations of Michiganders will pay the price.”