By David Fleet
Brandon Twp.-On Aug. 5 the township board of trustees voted 6-0 to adopt the resolution to support an uninterrupted continuation of energy transfer through Enbridge Line 5 and expedite construction of a new Enbridge Line 5. Terri Darnall, township treasurer was absent.
The resolution was sent to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
“We’ve dealt with Enbridge quite a bit in the past,” said Kathy Thurman, township supervisor. “The reason they came through our township was to replace an older line, and we never argued the fact that it wasn’t a good thing to replace a line, because we didn’t want to have any leakages going through our township.”
According to news sources, the State of Michigan granted the request of Enbridge, a $125-billion Alberta, Canada-based oil transport company, for a right-of-way to build, lay and secure two pipes along the lake bottom in the Straits. The pipelines became operational in 1953. A 30 -nch diameter, 645-mile pipeline that carries light crude oil and liquid propane from Superior, Wis., through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and then splits into two 20-inch diameter parallel pipelines that cross just west of the Mackinac Bridge on the lake floor of the 4.6-mile long Straits of Mackinac (which connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron). It then travels south through the Lower Peninsula.
“As much as I dislike Enbridge, I support this (resolution) as well.” Jayson Rumball, trustee.
Line 5 supplies 65 percent of the propane used in the Upper Peninsula and 55 percent for the entire state and also says that 30 percent of the crude oil from Line 5 ends up at the Marathon refinery in Detroit to be turned into gasoline for Michigan motorists.
Enbridge officials outlined $40 million in engineering and geological preparations planned this year as part of a $500 million project to swap the dual pipelines and construct a tunnel around new pipe. Officials of the Calgary-based energy giant said that’s the best option for protecting the Great Lakes from an unlikely rupture without disrupting regional fuel supplies.
Jay R Taylor, a township resident responded to the resolution and lawsuit.
“I don’t understand why Attorney General Dana Nessel filed suit in June to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline,” said Taylor. “I believe she is just playing to Governor Whitmer’s radical environmental base which is afraid of a potential oil leak in the Straits of Mackinac. No one wants a leak. We want to just balance the risk with the need for affordable energy.”
That pipeline supplies essential oil to create gasoline for our vehicles and propane to heat our homes, Taylor added.
“It has operated for over 60 years without a major incident and has many more years of useful life according to independent engineers,” he said. “The previous Governor negotiated an agreement to build an even safer pipeline and the Attorney General is still not satisfied. Energy prices in Michigan are already out of control. The lawsuit is just a political move that will results in thousands of trucks and rail cars coming into Michigan along I-94, the Mackinaw Bridge, and other already crowded roadways to bring in the commodities we need to replace a closed pipeline. The cost increases will be enormous and the Attorney General must listen to all of the people, not just those who are most vocal.”
Jay R. Taylor is a retired General Motors Company finance executive, having led the development of Strategic Risk Management for the CEO and board of directors beginning in 2014 after the disastrous ignition switch recall issue. Jay formerly was Director, Global Internal Audit Services at GM, and has since served on three boards, authored articles and a book, and speaks at conferences on risk management, technology risk, compliance, and internal audit. He was recently elected President of Michigan Conservative Union, the state’s oldest conservative organization founded in 1976.