The Line 5 pipeline was constructed in 1953 to help provide essential energy to Michigan and the Great Lakes region. It also reduced threats posed by tanker traffic on the Great Lakes. The pipeline has operated safely for over 65 years, but concerns over the potential for an accident have grown. The state now has an opportunity to support the relocation of the pipeline from the waters of the Great Lakes to a proposed tunnel, 100 feet below the bed of the lakes. The proposed tunnel option would address environmental concerns about potential damage to the lakes from a spill at the same time as it maintains a piece of Michigan’s essential energy infrastructure. But the ongoing campaign against Line 5 by the state of Michigan is threatening the closure of this infrastructure.
The information in this report demonstrates that readily available, affordable energy sources such as propane are clearly the superior home heating option for residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A temporary or permanent shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline would have serious consequences for the availability and affordability of heating fuels in the U.P. The state should not deliberately seek to implement regressive energy policies that will require expensive tradeoffs and leave U.P. residents paying more for less reliable energy.
The state of Michigan should reject the recommendations put forward by the U.P. Energy Task Force Committee, cease its attempts to immediately close Line 5, and begin to actively support the construction of the Line 5 tunnel.
 Jason Hayes, “The Value of Pipelines (and Line 5) to Michigan” (Mackinac Center for Public Policy, March 16, 2017), https://perma.cc/A65L-6ULE.