Nessel: U.P. energy needs a priority in Line 5 plans

ESCANABA — While not mentioned during her Senior Day presentation, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also fielded media questions following the presentation on Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinaw. Many U.P. residents, including seniors, have raised concerns that a lawsuit from the AG’s office that threatens to shutdown the pipeline could cause a spike in propane costs.

“I made it very clear in my lawsuit — and you can actually check the language of the complaint — we are asking to decommission the line, but not until we’ve made certain that all U.P. residents have their energy properly provided for, and so we’re working with the governor’s U.P. Energy Task Force to find other methods of conveying propane and other needs, and we won’t be asking for the line to be shut down until we’re absolutely sure everyone can heat their homes in the winter,” said Nessel.

Nessel went on to say that if the 66-year-old pipeline were to rupture, there would be an immediate disruption in the conveyance of people’s

energy, so the state needed to be prepared one way or another. However, she expressed she was opposed to allowing the pipeline to continue operations without a timeline for decommissioning.

“I believe that every day that goes by we’re in imminent peril of having that rupture and having one of the worst environmental disasters we’ve ever had in the United States of America, and that’s very concerning to me,” she said.

Nessel also stated the negotiations stalled when Enbridge “got up and they walked away from the negotiation’s table” and refused to give a time frame for the pipeline’s decommissioning.

“They won’t say two years, five years, seven years, ten years, 20 years, and so when you’re in this position where Enbridge is permitted to keep operating the line for as many years as they want, irrespective of the condition of the line, that’s something that I know that the governor — she could not tolerate that, she could not abide by that, and I think she was right to get up from the — to make certain that there were no further negotiations unless and until Enbridge would put some sort of time frame on when they intended to commission Line 5,” she said.