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.
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.”
1/ The Enbridge #Line5 pipeline, and the proposed oil tunnel to replace it, are a clear and present threat to the health of the Great Lakes and to our climate. They threaten the clean drinking water that millions depend upon. #shutdownline5
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) July 10, 2019
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.
“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.”