Presidential hopeful Inslee calls for Line 5 closure

    Sign at a Mackinac Island shop | Susan J. Demas

    As the legal battle over Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 oil pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac continues, one Democratic presidential candidate is calling for its shutdown. 

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee | Ken Coleman

    In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has based his campaign on battling climate change and stumped on that issue in Detroit in June, called the pipeline a “clear and present threat to the Great Lakes.”

    That earned him accolades from multiple environmental groups. 

    “When the Democratic debates come to Michigan later this month, the Enbridge Line should be a major topic,” Inslee wrote in a tweet. “I hope that every fellow Democratic candidate for president joins me in opposing this dangerous pipeline.”


    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel late last month filed a lawsuit seeking the closure of the pipeline, as Enbridge’s negotiations have broken down with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration over constructing an underwater tunnel that would house the pipeline. 

    Environmental groups like the Sierra Club, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Clean Water Action have long sought the line’s closure over fears that an anchor strike or rupture could leak millions of gallons of oil into the Great Lakes. 

    Nessel asks court to shut down Line 5, dismiss Enbridge lawsuit


    “Clean Water Action welcomes Governor Inslee’s statement on the future of Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline, and the detrimental climate impacts of continued reliance on Line 5,” Sean McBearty, Michigan program organizer for Clean Water Action, said in a statement.

    “We can’t bear the risk to our Great Lakes associated with the continued operation of Line 5, and we can’t bear the risk to our planet associated with continued reliance on fossil fuels,” McBearty continued. “We call on Michigan lawmakers, as well as all other presidential candidates to stand with Governor Inslee by supporting Attorney General Nessel and Governor Whitmer’s efforts to decommission the Line 5 pipeline without an oil tunnel replacement.”

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.


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