The Real Importance of Enbridge Line 5

Over the past few years, the necessity and reliability of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline has been up for debate. However, there are a number of facts that are indisputable. Most importantly, Line 5 supplies more than 55 percent of Michigan’s propane demand and without it the people of the Upper Peninsula (UP) would be unfairly burdened.

I have a lot of good friends in the UP and I travel there frequently, I have been following this issue very closely. For example, I know that in January 2014, the supply of liquid gas from Line 5 was disrupted for about a week and those within the UP community were faced with increased costs of nearly 20 percent. Several of my friends and colleagues informed me that steep jump was felt throughout the community: Businesses scrambled to import the gas they needed to run their operations, and to families were forced to pay more to heat their homes. Not only was the shortage felt in the UP, but it affected the Lower Peninsula as well. Up to 9 percent of households in our state use propane as the primary space heating fuel, with more than 85 percent heating homes in Northern Michigan. There is no denying the affordability and accessibility the pipeline provides.

Line 5 is not simply a UP issue, but a Michigan issue. There needs to be a solid understanding of how important this pipeline is for a lot of Michiganders who need affordable and reliable energy.





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