County Commissioners table support for Enbridge Line 5 to gather more information
Tue, 09/01/2020 - 11:10am caleb
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
After a brief debate regarding a controversial pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners agreed to table a resolution in support of Enbridge’s Line 5 last week.
The resolution was addressed by the Crawford County Board of Commissioners during a virtual meeting held on Thursday, August 27.
Candice Braddock, an Enbridge senior community engagement advisor, requested a resolution of support for Line 5 at the county board’s meeting on June 25.
At that meeting, Crawford County Commissioners Carey Jansen proposed a motion with it seconded by Phil Lewis, the vice chairman for the Crawford County Board of Commission, to review the option to adopt the resolution. The motion was approved by the full board to bring it back up at a later date.
Lewis presided over the board meeting last week.
Jansen recommended a motion to not support Line 5 at the meeting last week. The motion was seconded by Shelly Pinkelman, the chair of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, for discussion purposes only.
Lewis questioned if the board could just not act on the motion to show a lack of support for the pipeline.
Crawford County Administrator Paul Compo said he had been contacted by Braddock a few times since the June meeting regarding the resolution. He added that he didn’t want to address the matter before it came back before the county board.
“I just didn’t want to be speaking for the board without a little more of a conversation,” Compo said.
Pinkelman said state representatives are seeking support from the county for Line 5.
“There has been a lot of fiscally responsible monies that have been put into it,” Pinkelman said.
Jansen said she has contacted conservation groups Huron Pines and Roscommon-Crawford Chapter Citizens’ Climate Lobby, saying both organizations oppose Line 5. She said she believes that the board should support the opinions from conservation organizations and local interests.
“Resolutions are to set have precedence and have some weight behind them,” Jansen said.
Pinkleman asked for documentation to be provided to the board by the conservation organizations. She said she would do the same on behalf of state representatives, who are in support of keeping the pipeline in operation and building a tunnel to encase the pipeline.
“We might as well do our due diligence,” Pinkelman said.
Pinkelman withdrew her support of the motion to not support the pipeline in order for the board to have future discussion on the issue.
County Commissioner Jamie McClain recommended the board table the resolution until it can be addressed at an upcoming meeting.
Enbridge’s Line 5, a light crude and natural gas liquid pipeline, helps to meet over half of the propane needs of the State of Michigan and has been operating safely and reliably for more than 65 years, according to the proposed resolution of support.
Consequences to energy supply, local producers, regional airports and refineries, jobs, local economies and the cost to Michigan residents across the entire state are too great for Line 5 to be shut down the before the tunnel replacement is complete, according to the proposed resolution of support.
The State of Michigan and Enbridge have negotiated an agreement for a five-year, $500 million project to construct a tunnel 100 feet below the bedrock to encase Line 5 over the entire length of the Straits, in one-foot concrete walls in order to mitigate any leaks of product into the Great Lakes, according to the proposed resolution of support.
The State of Michigan has filed a lawsuit to close down Line 5 immediately. This action may very well cause unintended consequences for all parties as the litigation may close down Line 5 for an indeterminate amount of time while the case is resolved in the court system, according to the proposed resolution of support.
Enbridge had demonstrated a willingness to work with the state to both protect the Great Lakes and ensure the continued safe delivery of energy on which we rely, according to the proposed resolution of support.
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners supports Enbridge’s proposed tunnel replacement project and urges the State of Michigan to work with Enbridge to complete the tunnel project as quickly as possible, according to the proposed resolution of support.
If the resolution of support is passed, it would be sent to all counties in Michigan, the Michigan Association of Counties, Rep. Daire Rendon, Sen. Curt VanderWall, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.