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Groundwork attracts business support for Line 5 campaignPrint

Line 5 | June 13, 2016 | By Jim Lively


Clockkwise from top left: Groundwork Program Director Jim lively interviewed by Fox2 Detroit’s Hannah Saunders on the dock outside the Chippewa Hotel; a crowd of business leaders, island residents and media gathered at the Chippewa Hotel patio overlooking the Mackinac Island harbor for the receoption; Groundwork’s Executive Director Hans Voss, with National Wildlife Great Lakes Director Mike Shriberg, with Gillian Cobb of Shorts Brewing Co, a business sponsor of the reception.

On May 31, Groundwork and the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center (NWF)  hosted a Line 5 Business Reception at the Chippewa Hotel on Mackinac Island to coincide with the start of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce Mackinac Policy Conference the next morning. 

Groundwork and NWF are partnering on this issue to build a statewide network of business leaders to call for action on Line 5 by Gov. Rick Snyder or Attorney General Bill Schuette—both of whom have authority to terminate the easement for the pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

Rich Bergman, owner of the Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company, spoke to the other business leaders about the importance of the issue to northern Michigan’s economy and drinking water. “Given the age of these pipelines and Enbridge’s track record in Michigan, the risk of a leak is just too great. We owe it to our generation and to future generations to protect these tremendous resources," Bergmann said at an event organized by the National Wildlife Federation.

Lake Charlevoix Brewing sponsored the event along with Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, Shorts Brewing Company, and Cherry Republic.

The reception attracted business leaders and political leaders from across the state attending the policy conference. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D) from the 12th District representing Ann Arbor and Dearborn used very strong language about the threat of an oil spill in the Great Lakes and called for a shut down of Line 5 at the Straits. Aaron Payment, tribal chairman of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, also spoke of the need to shut down the pipeline, and the importance of clean water for fishing and subsistence for tribal members. Gillian Cobb, of Short’s Brewing Co., told the crowd: “Clean water makes good beer”!  

Also attending the event were many members of the media from both northern Michigan and the Detroit area who have been covering the Line 5 issue closely. There has been extensive coverage on Fox2Detroit.