Enbridge rejects Michigan’s demand to shut down oil pipeline

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP/WJMN) — Enbridge says it will defy Michigan’s demand to shut down an oil pipeline that runs through a channel linking two of the Great Lakes.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November moved to revoke a 1953 state easement that allowed Enbridge’s Line 5 to be placed along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

“The information released today makes it clearer than ever that Line 5 is safe, that it’s important, and that shutting it down this spring would be a disastrous move,” said Mike Alaimo, Director of Environmental and Energy Affairs for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

“No wonder poll after poll shows families, workers, and businesses from every political party and persuasion back the Great Lakes Tunnel.  We’re grateful for Enbridge’s response today, because Michigan jobs depend on Line 5.”

The Democratic governor said the company had violated the terms and put Lake Michigan and Lake Huron at risk.

In a letter Tuesday, officials with the Calgary, Alberta-based company said the issues that Whitmer raised have been fixed and the pipeline meets the easement requirements.

“Our dual lines in the Straits are safe and in full compliance with the federal pipeline safety standards that govern them,” said Vern Yu, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President, Liquids Pipelines.

“In the meantime, the dual pipelines will continue to operate safely until they are replaced on completion of the Tunnel Project.”

Line 5 runs between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario, traversing parts of northern Michigan and Wisconsin.

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