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Environmental group calls public comment period for Line 5 deal a sham

State of Michigan

On Monday, there will be two days left in the five day public comment period on Governor Snyder's Line 5 tunnel deal with Enbridge Energy. Environmental groups say it doesn't matter what people say in the comments - the deal is done.  

Sean McBrearty is with Clean Water Action. He says it's clear to him that Snyder never intended to meaningfully consult with environmental groups or the public about the part of the Line 5 pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac. 

He says that's why the governor struck a deal with Enbridge without informing the state pipeline task force. McBrearty's view of the public comment period?

"Window dressing," he says. "To make it look like they're involving the public on a deal that's really going down strictly between the governor and Enbridge Energy."

A spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources says public comments could potentially be reflected in changes to "non-statutory aspects of the deal."

Snyder says the tunnel deal will protect the Great Lakes while securing better energy infrastructure for Michigan.  

Editor's note: Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.