Line 5 tunnel not perfect solution but best option

We see it as good news that Gov. Whitmer is rethinking her position on the replacement of the current Line 5, which carries petroleum in the straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge is proposing to build a tunnel 100 feet below the lake bed to carry a replacement system to the current Line 5. We believe the tunnel is a reasonable alternative to the current Line 5, which sits on the lake bottom in the Straits of Mackinac.

We are not alone in our feelings, which we found out when we ran a web poll question on the Mining Journal web site about the proposed new underground pipeline.

With 4,339 votes cast, 77.2 percent of the people who responded — or 3,349 votes — said they believe the new underground tunnel for the pipeline would be safe. We also know that state Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, has shown support for the new tunnel.

Having a source to get petroleum to the Upper Peninsula at a reasonable rate is important to businesses and individuals that live and do business in the Upper Peninsula.

If Line 5 was shut down with no alternative, the impact could be devastating to people living here. Other methods of getting petroleum other than a pipeline could cause the cost of petroleum to skyrocket in our area, which could cause significant financial hardships on residents and businesses in the Upper Peninsula.

We admit it made us nervous when the boat anchor hit Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac in 2018. We believe that we need to do our best to protect the Great Lakes from possible oil spills. That is why we believe the tunnel 100 feet below the Straits lake bed is a good, reasonable and safe alternative to the current Line 5.

The cost to Enbridge to build this tunnel will be very expensive, but we are glad it recognizes the need for a change from the current Line 5 and are willing to spend the money to build a safer way to get petroleum across the Straits of Mackinac. Gov. Whitmer was not happy with the timeline approved by the previous Snyder administration to replace the current Line 5. Hopefully she will find a way to work with Enbridge to approve and expedite the process and get the tunnel completed as soon as possible.