LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – A November 2020 order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer cited May 12, 2021 as a deadline for shutting down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.
That deadline is now two days away, and Enbridge is fighting in state and federal courts against Whitmer’s order to shut down the Line 5 pipeline.
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In addition, The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the state along with Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario to file an amicus brief this week to stop the potential closure.
“[Gov. Gretchen Whitmer] seems determined to carry through on her reckless political attack and unilateral decision to shut down a multi state pipeline regulated by the federal government and an international pipeline serving Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Canada,” said Rich Studley, CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a slap in the face,” Studley said.
Throughout the legal battle the company has continually reassured customers the shutdown will not be approved. Vern Yu, executive vice-president and president of the company’s liquids pipelines told The Financial Post, “A shutdown would be very impactful for the energy security of the region. We do have a little bit of capacity that we can provide through Line 78, but it’s not going to be enough to provide the energy needs of the Great Lakes region,” said Yu.
Enbridge Energy has put up $500 million of its own money to build a tunnel that would encase Line 5. It carries energy for millions of people, and its shutdown would be particularly harmful to residents in the Upper Peninsula.
A shipping anchor struck the pipeline in April 2018, damaging Line 5 and striking two unwater power cables spilling 600 gallons of dielectric fluid.