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Snyder, lawmakers reach agreement that could cement Line 5 replacement

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio
The Snyder administration and Enbridge Energy agreed to build a tunnel around Line 5, but it is unclear who will oversee the controversial project.

Governor Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders appear to have struck a deal that could cement a plan to bury the controversial Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

In October, it was announced that Enbridge Energy had agreed to replace and bury the stretch of the aging oil and gas pipeline in a tunnel under the bedrock under the Straits of Mackinac. 

But there hasn’t been agreement on who would oversee that project. Snyder proposed the Mackinac Bridge Authority. But his office says there isn’t support among lawmakers for that plan. Instead, Republican legislators favor creating a new authority to oversee the project. The governor also supports that idea.

There’s urgency in Lansing to iron out those details before Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel take office in January. Both Democrats oppose the deal and want Line 5 shut down entirely.

Editor's note: Enbridge Energy is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

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