CPA Public Affairs
November 2020

UPDATE: Michigan Governor wants to close Line 5 by next May. Again.

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On November 13, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer informed Enbridge that her administration plans on terminating the easement that allows for the operation of Line 5 below the Straits of Mackinac and on to refinery and fractionation facilities in Sarnia.

The legal notice cites what it calls Enbridge's "violation of the public trust doctrine” and noncompliance with easement conditions as reasons for the revocation. According to the notice, the termination requires the pipeline to be shut down by May 2021.

For its part, Enbridge has said that it remains confident that, “Line 5 continues to operate safely and that there is no credible basis for terminating the 1953 Easement allowing the Dual Line 5 Pipelines to cross the Straits of Mackinac.”

Since the Line 5 issue first emerged, members will know that the CPA has been working in support of its continuation, championing its importance to the supply chain of propane to Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Any disruption of Line 5 would be a nightmare scenario from a logistics perspective. Significant increases in rail and truck traffic would also result in increased GHG emissions. An irony apparently lost on the government in Michigan.

In addition to filing comments with the Michigan Public Service Commission, the CPA has been in contact with Canada’s premiers either directly or through communication with the Council of the Federation. The CPA has also reached out and received support from the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan regarding the importance of Line 5.

The CPA will continue to monitor the issue very closely and will look for opportunities to advance the cause for the continuation of Line 5, in collaboration with Enbridge and the NPGA (National Propane Gas Association).


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