Safe, modern energy infrastructure should not be a political matter – and six Michigan State House Democrats agree. In a joint statement, state Representatives Brian Elder, Tenisha Yancey, Wendell Byrd, John Chirkun, Terry Sabo, and Sara Cambensy expressed their support for a common-sense improvement project for the Enbridge Line 5 oil and gas pipeline that crosses the Straits of Mackinac. They wrote:
“Our natural resources and our economy are too important to await the outcome of protracted litigation,” the lawmakers wrote. “We need to start the Line 5 Tunnel now.”
This statement comes in response to Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s recently filed legal action seeking the immediate shut down of the existing operation of the Line 5 pipeline. As the GAIN Coalition has previously highlighted, the lawsuits brought by Nessel undermine the regulatory certainty needed for new investments in pipeline infrastructure.
The six representatives said they were “deeply disappointed” by Nessel’s action, adding the legal battle “guarantees the status quo.” The lawmakers supported the deal that was reached by the previous Michigan Governor and Enbridge in 2018 to encase the pipeline with a tunnel – the so-called Line 5 Tunnel.
The GAIN Coalition commends the six Michigan representatives for speaking out against the Attorney General’s lawsuits. Michigan’s – and North America’s – energy security should not be used as a political pawn. Policymakers across the country should take note of these state Representative’s comments.