Line 5 essential

To the Journal editor:

We agree there is more to the Line 5 story than was shared in a letter published June 3.

Ask the people of the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan, who are among the approximately 55 percent of Michigan residents and businesses reliant on the propane that comes from Line 5. It helps heat their homes while supporting agriculture and manufacturing needs.

Michigan is also a net-importer of transportation fuels, with Line 5 providing to area refineries feedstock essential to meeting the state’s energy needs. These same refineries supply a large proportion of the aviation fuel at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a vital contributor to basic transportation and the State’s economy.

In addition to the practical aspect of Line 5, independent analysis commissioned by the State of Michigan and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration confirmed the safety of Line 5. The analysis underscores that Line 5 was designed to stand the test of time, and it has.

In large part, the safe operation of Line 5 is due to the rigorous safety measures Enbridge uses; measures that exceed regulatory requirements. We recognize, however, that it is time to advance Michigan’s energy infrastructure to the next level of safe operation.

Construction of the tunnel represents a practical approach to meeting the state’s energy needs while providing the people of Michigan with even greater protection and near zero risk. A tunnel to house the straits pipelines is the most effective and timely way to remove the existing Line 5 while ensuring the critical energy needs of Michiganders are met.

Provided we are able to move through the permitting process without delay, we believe the tunnel can be under construction in 2021 and in service as soon as early 2024. Operation of the current Line 5 would cease immediately once the new line within the tunnel becomes operational.

Without Line 5, more than 2,000 tanker trucks — 90 leaving the terminal every hour, 24 hours a day or more than 800 rail cars each day — would be necessary to deliver the amount of energy carried safely by Line 5 each day.

Yes, we agree there is much more to the Line 5 story. Namely, Line 5 is safe and critical to Michigan, and Enbridge plans to keep it that way.

Sincerely,

BOB LEHTO, manager

Northern Michigan Area