Don’t put tunnel in our straits

To the editor:

We have been told a Line 5 tunnel will provide “energy security” for Michigan, especially propane for the UP. But 100 percent of the propane NGLs crossing the straits go directly to Sarnia for Enbridge profit, not Michigan need. The 2 percent of Line 5’s natural gas liquids which are converted to propane in Rapid River are distributed by truck or rail within the UP to meet its need before ever reaching the straits.  

That these NGLs come from the land portion of Line 5 means that there are other safe and affordable ways to distribute propane, as set forth in the 2017 Dynamic Risk Alternatives Analysis prepared for the state. In fact, the state should be exploring the alternatives now, in case Line 5 failed leaving the UP out in the cold.

Enbridge has other pipelines around the lakes, but chooses to use our straits because it’s the most profitable route East regardless of its higher risk. Canada is rejecting new pipelines for environmental reasons, yet our Mackinac Bridge Authority is being asked (SB1197) to own a Canadian oil tunnel for 99 years and lease it to Enbridge. 

Propane, yes.  But a tunnel in our straits? No, especially because the dangerously old Line 5 will operate another decade while a tunnel is built.

Michigan only uses between 5-10 percent of Line 5’s oil, so why risk our Great Lakes needlessly?