This coverage is made possible through a partnership with Grist and Interlochen Public Radio in Northern Michigan.
During a heated public meeting last Friday, Michigan’s top energy regulator granted the Canadian company Enbridge Energy a permit to build a new pipeline and tunnel under the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, in an important — but not final — step in the controversial project’s approval process.
Construction can’t begin unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grants it a federal permit. Before that happens, the Army Corps has to release its assessment of the project’s environmental impacts.
The Michigan Public Service Commission’s decision sparked strong reactions from opponents and supporters of the tunnel.
Line 5 carries oil and natural gas liquids 645 miles from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario. Two pipelines run four miles along the lakebed, between lakes Huron and Michigan. Enbridge is proposing to replace those with a single 30-inch wide pipel... Read more