Line-5 Tunnel pretense

Enbridge is stalling by proposing a Line-5 Great Lakes tunnel. It may sound great, but on closer look, the tunnel is a pretense which keeps an unsafe 1953 pipeline operating well beyond its intended 50 years. The California oil spill shows us all too clearly the danger of a pipeline in a busy shipping lane.

When Gov. Whitmer ordered Line 5 shut down, Enbridge sued to operate it until its replacement in a tunnel was ready — years from now. Since escape clauses in the 2018 tunnel agreement let Enbridge back out without penalty, courts, state and federal regulators will deliberate for years about a tunnel unlikely to be built. The tunnel’s real purpose is to keep Line-5 earning $1.76 million/day (Enbridge 6/30/20 estimate) for as long as possible.

Enbridge offers no plan or funding for the billion-dollar tunnel in its 2020 Securities & Exchange Commission filing intended for such projections. While other growth projects are budgeted, Line 5 is cited only as an “asset in operation.”

A 99-year oil tunnel is an unsound investment for Enbridge, Michigan or anyone as the world turns away from fossil fuels. Don’t believe the tunnel pretense. Shut down Line-5. Save the climate. Save the Great Lakes. Now — before we are the headline story.

Barbara Stamiris

Traverse City

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