Former governor of Michigan now serving as Joe Biden’s Secretary at the Department of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, would not answer a question about what economic impact the Line 5 pipeline has on the state at a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing on Thursday. “Would you say that Line 5 [pipeline] plays a massive economic impact on the state of Michigan?” Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) asked Jennifer Granholm at the hearing. “I’m not going to respond to that one,” Granholm said. “You’re not going to respond to that?” Latta asked. “No, I’m not going to get into that because it’s in court,” Granholm said, referring to the ongoing litigation in Michigan over Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s attempts to shut down the pipeline. “When I’ve talked to people in the state of Michigan and the state of Ohio they said it does have a major economic impact,” Latta said. According to the website of Enbridge, the company behind Line 5, the pipe has operated for decades without a leak and provides abundant energy to the state of Michigan: The products moved on Line 5 heat homes and businesses, fuel vehicles, and power industry in the state of Michigan. Line 5 supplies 65% of propane demand in the Upper Peninsula, and 55% of Michigan’s statewide propane needs. Overall, Line 5 transports up to 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light crude oil, light synthetic crude, and natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are refined into propane. Built in 1953 by the Bechtel Corporation to meet extraordinary design and construction standards, the Line 5 Straits of Mackinac crossing remains in excellent condition, and has never experienced a leak in more than 65 years of operation.
The Line 5 crossing features an exceptional and incredibly durable enamel coating, and pipe walls that are three times as thick—a minimum of 0.812 inches—as those of a typical pipeline. What’s more, the Bechtel Corporation—renowned for the iconic Hoover Dam—designed and built Line 5 in an area of the Straits that would minimize potential corrosion due to lack of oxygen and the cold water temperature. This setting contributes to preserving the integrity of Line 5, which has enabled it to serve the region safely and reliably for more than six decades. In an article on the MLive Media Group website, critics of the stance of environmentalists and Whitmer said shutting down the pipeline is counter to what is beneficial to the state and its residents. “The state’s ongoing legal maneuvering and attempt to force a shutdown of Line 5 runs contrary to well-established legal principles and jeopardizes Michigan’s energy security, economy and efforts to strengthen environmental protections along with that of Canada, our fellow Great Lakes states and entire nation – all at a time when we can least afford it,” Jim Holcomb, president and chief executive officer for the Michigan Chamber, said in the article. Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.
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