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What divides us

To the Journal editor:

If you look at a map of the pipe called Line 5 crossing the Upper Peninsula, you see that it clearly splits the peninsula in two. The Canadian company that owns and profits by that pipeline has done an expensive and successful campaign to divide the peninsula’s neighbors in two as well. We are fighting over this pipeline, and it is an Enbridge Inc.-sponsored fight.

Republicans unanimously support the company’s right to make millions of dollars with this pipeline that carries 23 million gallons of dangerous liquids every day for foreign export. The Democrats are divided between those that think the pipeline is a potential jobs program and those who see it as a threat to their jobs every day.

The only Democrat representative in the U.P., Sara Cambensy has angrily divided her supporters, some of them trade unions who support the pipeline as she does, against small business owners and residents who think she, and all the U.P. representatives, should be fighting for them against a huge foreign company.

And who started this fight? Who keeps paying millions of dollars in PR and political donations every year to keep it going? Enbridge Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta.

I’ve run my own business in the U.P. starting 40 years ago. I know schools and hospitals and businesses need to have solid support among neighbors for everything to succeed here. This pipeline is a fight we don’t need and don’t own. Enbridge won’t release information about what actually moves through their pipes, but they tell us we are beholden to them and can’t risk losing them. If that’s really the case, then maybe we need to cut the cord.

I want to support the trade unions about good-paying jobs, and I want to support businesses that take a huge risk here to succeed and help raise our quality of life. This shouldn’t be a choice. We need to get rid of the rusty pipeline down our middle and its millions of barrels of crude oil and propane headed to China. We need to get rid of that which divides us. We need each other.