With the June 30 release of an “Alternatives Analysis” commissioned by the State of Michigan, momentum is growing to decommission the Line 5 oil pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac. The conclusions of this analysis, and its popular and political impact in the weeks ahead, represent another crucial step in the march to shut down this catastophe-waiting-to-happen in the heart of the Great Lakes.
Attorney General Bill Schuette was quoted again this week with his strongest language yet about decommissioning Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac. Disagreeing with an assertion that the pipeline could last “indefinitely”, Schuette called for a “comprehensive plan … to drive the timeline for the (pipeline’s) closure”. Yet in the same statement he suggested the pipeline could be replaced with a tunnel under the Straits, a risky and expensive alternative that ignores the long-term solution of getting oil to Michigan from other existing pipelines and, ultimately, reducing our demand for oil and transitioning our economy to run on cleaner fuel sources.