Elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula
Sentiments expressed around much of the Upper Peninsula on the impact of losing propane production from Enbridge’s Line 5 were generally along the same lines.
IN THE WESTERN U.P.
Shutting down the Enbridge pipeline could conceivably send propane costs through the roof, said Dan Harrington, manager-owner of the U.P. Propane office in Iron Mountain.
“Right now, that’s just for trucking, ’cause there’s no alternative; there’s no feasible replacement,” Harrington said.
Try to ship it by rail — that and trucking are options suggested by the Great Lakes advocacy group For the Love of Water, or FLOW, which opposes the pipeline — and he estimated that would increase propane costs even more.
U.P. Propane has roughly 3,000 customers in Dickinson and the surrounding counties. The company serves most of the rest of the Upper Peninsula as well, plus Florence and Marinette counties in Wisconsin.
He pointed out that when Line 5 was down 2 1/2 days for maintenance earlier this year, propane prices in the region spiked by $1.
IN THE SOUTHERN U.P.
This area is served by about five propane companies, including Naser Propane, which has offices in Powers with facilities in Daggett, Wilson, Nahma and Gladstone.
“It’s not feasible to shut that line down,” maintained David Naser, owner of Naser Propane, who said he met with State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, and representatives of Enbridge and other U.P. propane businesses last fall to discuss Line 5. Casperson said thousands of trucks would be needed to replace Line 5 production.
“There’s not that many trucks — period,” he said.
IN THE COPPER COUNTRY
About 3,000 homes and businesses use propane in the area, according to one estimate. A key supplier in this area is LaCourt Bottled Gas of Baraga, which has about 2,000 customers.
“The odds of it happening are pretty slim. I’ve been told all the tests on Line 5 came back fine,” said owner-manager Jerry LaCourt. “If there’s a question with the quality of the gas line, if there was a question, if it could jeopardize the Great Lakes, they would shut it down.”