On March 16, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce testified as a proponent to House Resolution 13, which urges Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to keep Enbridge Line 5 operational.
Enbridge’s Line 5 is an oil pipeline that rests on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac and carries light crude oil, light synthetic crude and natural gas liquids. To ensure the safety of Lakes Michigan and Huron, a project was approved by former Michigan Gov., Rick Snyder, to allow Enbridge to create a tunnel to house the pipeline under the lakebed and prevent any environmental issues from occurring. After pushback from activists, the newly elected Gov. Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel blocked the tunnel plans and sought to decommission Line 5 altogether.
Shutting down Line 5 would not only be devastating to Ohio and Michigan’s economy, but it would also negatively affect the economy from a regional perspective. For decades, Line 5 has safely delivered over 500,000 barrels per day of crude supply to refineries in northwest Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ontario. This represents approximately 42 percent of regional refineries’ crude manufacturing capacity. Without Line 5, the Midwest would face significant fuel supply constraints, which would likely result in significantly higher fuel costs and fuel availability concerns. Also, if the pipeline is taken offline, refineries could be forced to eliminate more than 1200 good-paying jobs.
Ohio businesses, employees, and families depend on Line 5, and are counting on construction of the Great Lakes Tunnel to protect the Great Lakes and local economies all while keeping energy prices affordable for consumers. As we fight to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the thousands of jobs this project will create and support are more important than ever. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce commends the sponsor and co-sponsors of HR 13 and urges its swift passage.