By JOHN FLESHER
AP Environmental Writer
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan attorney general called on Thursday for shutting down twin oil pipelines that run beneath the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.
Republican Bill Schuette said a “specific and definite timetable” should be established for decommissioning the nearly 5-mile-long section of Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.
He said one option would be to build a tunnel under the straits. The tunnel, he said, would “create infrastructure and construction jobs” while allowing for “continuous visual inspection.”
Schuette commented as the state of Michigan prepared to release a consultant’s report analyzing alternatives to Line 5, which has been in place since 1953. Environmental groups say it’s unsafe and want it removed, although the company insists it’s in good shape.
It carries about 23 million gallons of light crude oil and liquid natural gas daily across sections of Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.
“The safety and security of our Great Lakes is etched in the DNA of every Michigan resident, and the final decision on Line 5 needs to include a discussion with those that rely on propane for heating their homes, and depend on the pipeline for employment,” said Schuette. “One thing is certain: the next steps we take should be for the long term protection of the Great Lakes.”