LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Christmas is coming early this year for Enbridge Energy and propane consumers in Michigan, after the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved the Line 5 pipeline order.

MPSC members approved the plan by Enbridge to encase Line 5 in a tunnel. The company is using $500 million of its own money for the project. Line 5 runs through the Straits of Mackinac and provides propane to many residents and businesses in Michigan.

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The pipeline, which has been operating without incident since 1953, has been viewed as controversial in the eyes of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, who have worked to shut down the pipeline without a solid backup plan in place.

Enbridge issued a statement on Friday after the MPSC approval:

Through the Great Lakes Tunnel Project, Enbridge is reimagining infrastructure and energy delivery to Michigan and the region. The decision by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) is a major step forward in making the Great Lakes Tunnel Project a reality, protecting the Great Lakes and securing the vital energy people in Michigan and surrounding region rely on every day. 

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With the MPSC’s decision, the Michigan agencies involved in the permitting process have given the go ahead for this critical project. We recognize the tremendous investment of time and deliberation by the MPSC and staff leading to this decision. The MPSC carefully examined this complex issue and considered many viewpoints, questions, concerns, and ideas.

Ultimately, the MPSC agreed with its staff’s conclusions that Line 5 transports critically needed energy for Michigan and the region and placing the Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes Tunnel better protects the Great Lakes.

Enbridge would like to thank everyone who provided public comment on the project. We are also grateful to the organizations that intervened in the MPSC approval process to advance the project, including the National and Michigan Propane Associations, and the Michigan Laborers’ District Council. The input from intervenors on both sides of the issue raised important questions that challenge us all to get this right.

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We are ready to begin work on this project. The only thing standing in the way of locating a replacement section of Line 5 into the tunnel is a decision on our permit application by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As we advance this energy modernization infrastructure project, Enbridge remains steadfast in our plan to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050 by investing in renewables, modernizing our networks, and transporting and delivering these energy resources safely.