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Line 5 protest includes Santa and a horse

Cheyna Roth
Michigan Public Radio Network
Santa and Clifford the horse made an appearance at a rally to shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5.";

The call to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 continues.

That’s the pipeline that carries oil and natural gas liquid under the Straits of Mackinac.

Protestors gathered outside the State Capitol today. They marched to the governor’s office and Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office. Once there, they delivered over 25,000 comments calling for the line to be shut down.

The protestors included Clifford, a horse from Drummond Island. Nancy Bailey is Clifford’s “human.” She says Clifford is a therapy animal. But he came to the protest because of environmental concerns surrounding Line 5 and a potential leak.

 “We spend all summer playin’ in Lake Huron and it’s always clean and we don’t want that to end,” she said.

Clifford did manage to get into the governor’s building, but was escorted out.

Andrea Bitely is with Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office. She says he's in favor of shutting down Line 5, but it’s not something that can happen overnight.

“You would hate to have someone in the Upper Peninsula not be able to heat their home in the winter because of closing Line 5," Bitely said. "We have to take into account everyone who is dependent on Line 5as well as the environmental risk.”

Environmentalists say the line needs to be shut down immediately to protect the Great Lakes. Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R