Governor talks future of Line 5 Pipeline, Soo Locks

MARQUETTE — Line 5 is a 60-year-old pipeline that runs oil beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge, who owns the pipeline, confirmed earlier this year the pipeline has failed in some places.

Two years ago, Governor Rick Snyder created the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board to prevent another oil spill, like the one that occurred in the Kalamazoo River in 2011. Snyder says he’s waiting on the results of two studies about the pipeline.

“One is what that pipeline really does, what it means to our economy and what are the risks,” said Snyder. “The other one is what are the alternatives; if the pipeline wasn’t there, how would we make sure we’re getting fuel and energy where we need it,” he added.

The governor says results from both studies should be out this summer.

“And then we should have a very thoughtful discussion based on facts,” said Snyder. “If you think about it, the best decisions are based on when you have good information and you can make smarter decisions.”

Speaking of facts, 60% of cargo traveling through the Soo Locks can only pass through the Poe Lock. Because it’s the biggest lock, if the Poe Lock were to breakdown for any reason, that could have a major economic effect.

“It would be devastating to not just the Michigan economy, not just to the Great Lakes, but to the national economy if something happened to that lock,” said Gov. Snyder.

Michigan politicians have sent resolutions and letters to President Trump asking for a new lock to be constructed. As for Michigan’s political future, Snyder cannot run for a third term, which opens the door for a new governor.

Will Lt. Governor Calley enter the race?

“I am focused today as much as I have been in the past on Michigan’s future,” said Calley. “We measure new jobs in the hundreds of thousands these days. We’ve cut the employment rate in half, leaving the nation in manufacturing job growth. And yet 70% of our new jobs were not manufacturing jobs, which shows diversity in our economy. These are all things I am so proud of, to have been a part of and as we look towards the future, I’m just excited for it.”

Calley says there’s a big announcement coming May 30th.