Updated, 8:35 p.m. 2/24/20 with comments from AG Nessel
In a tweet Monday evening, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg became the second Democratic presidential contender currently in the race to call for Enbridge’s controversial Line 5 oil pipeline to be decommissioned.
“With such a high risk of an oil spill under the Great Lakes, Michigan can’t afford to keep the Line 5 pipeline in operation. In every community, we need new clean energy solutions to meet our climate crisis,” Buttigieg wrote. The tweet links to a Michigan Radio article from earlier this month about Enbridge’s replacement of a Line 5 segment under the St. Clair River.
With such a high risk of an oil spill under the Great Lakes, Michigan can’t afford to keep the Line 5 pipeline in operation. In every community, we need new clean energy solutions to meet our climate crisis. https://t.co/NWZRwA30BO
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 24, 2020
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who dropped out of the race in August, was the first presidential contender to publicly oppose Line 5. Inslee called the Line 5 tunnel project “a clear and present threat” in early July 2019.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted his opposition to Line 5 later that month, on the nine-year anniversary of Enbridge’s Line 6B oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.
Attorney General Dana Nessel has been fighting the pipeline in court and praised Sanders earlier for his support. On Monday, she tweeted her thanks to Buttigieg, as well.*
Thank you @PeteButtigieg! Michigan would be fortunate to have a President like you-who appreciates and values the sanctity of the Great Lakes and understands that the continued operation of Line 5 is a risk we can’t afford to take. #ShutDownLine5 https://t.co/O5rsfwjQb9
— Dana Nessel (@dananessel) February 25, 2020
Nessel told the Advance again Monday that she is not planning to endorse in the Democratic primary, reiterating that she will campaign “as hard as I can” for the party’s nominee.*
As the Advance has reported, the fierce Line 5 debate in Michigan (and ensuing legal battles) is just one example of oil pipelines becoming a more important national issue for the presidential cycle, as the debate on how to regulate fossil fuels in the era of climate change activism rages on.