Line 5 tunnel a good solution
To the Journal editor:
Scott Emerson is mistaken. Michigan residents recently voted specifically for a new governor and attorney general. There was no ballot item specifically related to shutting down line 5. Although the election winners vow to shut down line 5, whether or not they actually do remains to be seen after they take office.
I want something safer in the long term than the current Line 5 too, but I hope the winners are not knee-jerk reactionists who will just totally shut it down without an immediately suitable, environmentally safer, economical replacement.
Up until the date that the election winners take office, those currently in office are allowed to continue with their agenda. You’d be foolish to think that both major political parties do not do the same things during their lame duck sessions when the losing outgoing party is being replaced by the winning incoming party. The current outgoing governor owes nothing more than a smooth transition to the new incoming governor. Incoming governors are always taking on responsibilities set by previous administrations.
Enbridge screwed up big time at the Kalamazoo River and deserves the big black eye it has earned. Neither this failure, nor Line 5 being 65 years old, prove that line 5 will fail. The Mackinac Bridge is 61 years old, but is not being discarded because with proper maintenance, a much longer useful life is expected.
Similarly, with proper maintenance, Line 5 with its 0.812-inch thick walls can operate safely for many more years, certainly during the anticipated 7 to 10 year tunnel construction period, but with more inspections, maintenance activity, and protections than in the past. Underwater tunnels have been successfully been constructed and operated under the Detroit River, English Channel and Chesapeake Bay, so given appropriate geological conditions, it can be done under the Straits too.
The only half-baked deal I see is Scott erroneously calling the governor’s tunnel dealings a blatant anti-democratic power grab. The chanting to shutdown line 5 reminds me of the of Orange Pontificator’s “lock her up” chants.
They are mearly another gasp at stirring up the electorate. I suggest the current governor is showing some real leadership by trying to forge a long term, environmentally safe, economical solution.