Line 5 important to U.P. residents

To the Journal editor:

How are you keeping your home warm this winter? In the U.P. and across the state tens of thousands depend on propane to keep warm.

Like many reliable staples in our lives, we sometimes take for granted how propane gets to us. That’s why rather than criticizing state Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, for her recent opinion piece in The Mining Journal, we should applaud her. She reminded us of an important fact; that our region relies on Line 5 and the propane that comes from it.

Perpetuating the misconception that we do not rely on Line 5 not only is irresponsible, it is a disservice to those who count on propane to meet their daily needs. Propane heats our homes and offices, allows us to make hot meals and heat water for our showers. Some might take exception to this fact, but it is reality, particularly for families and businesses in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan, where tens of thousands of homes and businesses rely on propane.

Those who say that shutting down Line 5 will have “no significant impact” on the UP are only spreading false information. The fact is that 32 million gallons of propane per year are taken directly from Line 5 at a terminal near Rapid River and used throughout the UP and an additional 120 million gallons of propane are taken at another terminal in downstate St. Clair, also from Line 5, that are used to heat homes and businesses and run forklifts in many manufacturing plants. There are currently no other propane terminals in the Midwest that can make up for the more than 150 million gallons of propane that Line 5 brings into our state.

Constructing a tunnel to house a new pipeline, for which Enbridge, not taxpayers, will pay for, was determined to be the best option for replacement. This tunnel will allow the region to continue to benefit from Line 5, with increased environmental safeguards that will help keep us warm in the winter as well as keep our Great Lakes clean.

With that in mind, we encourage a renewed focus on what Line 5 brings to this region. The fact is that tens of thousands of families and businesses continue to benefit from a reliable source of propane, which Line 5 delivers to our state and the U.P.


DON STECKMAN, U.P. general manager