Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will meet this week with Enbridge Energy executives. Her goal is come up with an agreement to remove the Line 5 gas and oil pipeline from the Great Lakes.
“I am still talking with Enbridge," Whitmer said. "My hope is that we have a date certain that the pipeline comes out of the water, and we’ve got a resolution to this in the very near future.”
Whitmer says she’d like to reach a deal with Enbridge that would avoid a lengthy and expensive court battle. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has set an end-of-June deadline for an agreement, or her office will pursue legal action to shut down Line 5.
“One of the things I’m concerned about is being locked in litigation in an unending way where that pipeline stays exposed and that pipeline remains and we run the risk of a leak in the Great Lakes,” Whitmer said.
An Enbridge spokesman says the company still believes replacing part of the line that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac and surrounding it with a tunnel is a safe and reliable way to transport oil and gas — an effort that would take five years and cost $500 million.
Editor's note: Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.