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Gov. Snyder says Line 5 should be shut down, eventually

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Governor Rick Snyder wants an oil and gas pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac to eventually be de-commissioned.

The mist-shrouded straits served as a backdrop as the governor answered questions on a variety of topics. When asked about Enbridge Energy’s Line 5, he said the environmental risks are too great for the pipeline to remain where it’s been for the past 60 years.

“I don’t think anyone feels as comfortable as you’d like to having that pipeline and potentially other items on the bottom of the straits.”

But Snyder says he will wait on two reports to be released next month before determining his next move. One is a risk assessment. The other is on alternatives to Line 5. One of the alternatives could be to bury the line beneath the lake bed.

Environmental groups have called on the state to immediately revoke the easement that allows Line 5 to run beneath the straits.

Snyder added, “Let’s move forward in a prompt way, and, in the meantime, let’s do additional steps and measures to protect the straits and the lakes themselves.”

The governor says that’s why money is being set aside in the next state budget for new safety measures to better protect the straits. He says the exact amount of money is still the subject of bargaining with the Legislature.

Editor's note: In full disclosure, Enbridge Energy is a financial supporter of Michigan Radio.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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