UPEC livestream event, “Line 5: Decision Time” and “Solar Farms & Migratory Birds”
Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Presents the Energy Show: “Enbridge Line 5–Decision Time” and “Large Solar Farms & Migratory Birds” on Saturday, June 13 at 7 p.m. EDT, livestreamed via Facebook, YouTube, and Zoom (links below)
Join The Energy Show, an Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) livestream with guests Jim Olson, Founder and President of the group FLOW (For Love Of Water), and Joe Kaplan of Common Coast Research & Conservation. Olson will discuss issues surrounding Enbridge Energy’s Line 5, a major oil and gas pipeline that crosses the length of the Upper Peninsula, passes through the Straits of Mackinac on the lakebed, and continues through the Lower Peninsula to Sarnia, Ontario. Kaplan will talk about the potential dangers large-scale solar farms pose to migrating birds.
A task force under former governor Rick Snyder concluded that the pipeline, now nearly 70 years old, would never be allowed to be built today. However, before leaving office, Snyder agreed to the replacement of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac with a new pipeline in a utility tunnel bored beneath the Straits. Now there are at least six disputes, two in the courts, over the existing Line 5 and the proposed Line 5 tunnel and pipeline. With new leadership in Michigan, it is “decision time” for Enbridge, the State, and the people of Michigan as the legal battle is heading to a climax. Olson will help us understand the environmental and legal issues at stake.
Kaplan is concerned that large solar farms, with huge arrays of shiny solar panels pointing up at the sky, have the potential to lure migratory birds such as loons and grebes to try to land there because they mistake the panels for the surfaces of lakes. “It’s an issue that’s been documented out west in solar farms,” Kaplan says, “and in Michigan I’ve documented loons and grebes crash-landing on roads. Once they are stranded they cannot take flight.”
Jim Olson has nearly 40 years of experience as an environmental, water, and public interest law advocate and champion, dedicated to protecting waters and ecosystems in the Great Lakes Basin. Joe Kaplan is an ornithologist and community activist.
A Zoom link is available at https://upenvironment.org.