The following statement can be attributed to Liz Kirkwood, environmental attorney and executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water), the Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City, in reaction to the Whitmer administration’s release today of a five-point propane security plan to aid Michigan residents after the dangerous Enbridge Line 5 pipeline is shut down.
“The MI Propane Security Plan is the right plan at the right time for Michigan’s energy independence and future prosperity. With state leadership, the propane supply and distribution system can continue to adjust to meet demand, particularly in the Upper Peninsula where about 18 percent of households heat with propane.
“It’s far too risky for residents and the State of Michigan to continue to rely on the dangerous and outdated Line 5 pipelines that cross the open waters of the Straits of Mackinac for their propane supply. Line 5 has failed at least 33 times since 1968, spilling more than 1.1 million gallons of oil in Michigan and Wisconsin. Line 5 is owned and operated by Enbridge, which caused the Kalamazoo River oil spill disaster in 2010—after providing reassurances to Congress just 10 days earlier of ‘almost instantaneous’ response to leaks in the Canadian company’s sprawling North American pipeline system.
“We cannot trust Enbridge to keep running Line 5 through the Great Lakes, 20% of the world’s supply of fresh surface water and the drinking water source relied on by 48 million Americans and Canadians, including about half of all Michigan residents.
“According to the State of Michigan, the MI Propane Security Plan addresses potential price gouging, invests in renewable energy, energy efficiency and electrification, encourages investments in alternatives to Line 5, ramps up propane storage infrastructure, and calls for more actions to avert any disruption of energy supply.”
Background on propane:
- Propane availability in Michigan – Ready for change | The Daily Mining Gazette — Feb. 10, 2021
- U.P. Energy Task Force submits propane recommendations to Gov. Whitmer — April 17, 2020
- The Upper Peninsula Has Viable Options to Line 5 for Its Propane Supply and Economy — FLOW Fact Sheet. Just 1-2 propane rail cars or 4-5 tanker trucks a day could replace the aging Line 5 pipeline’s P. propane capacity without risking a Great Lakes oil spill, FLOW’s latest research shows. The rail cars or tanker trucks could deliver propane from Superior, Wisc., to the existing propane storage-and-distribution center in Rapid River, Michigan, north of Escanaba on U.S. 2.
- Shutting down Line 5 would add just 5 cents to the cost of a gallon of propane, which has hovered around $2 for the past year, according to a 2018 study by London Economics International LLC, a Boston-based consultancy, and commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation.
For more information, see FLOW’s Line 5 fact sheets and blogs:
- FLOW Program on Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac
- FLOW Fact Sheets:
- FLOW Line 5 Blogs: