Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee is wading into a Great Lakes regional controversy by coming out against a proposed oil pipeline tunnel.
The Washington state governor opposes a plan favored by Enbridge to route the company's Line 5 pipeline through a tunnel that would be built beneath the Straits of Mackinac, the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan.
The tunnel segment would replace dual pipes that have run across the Straits' bottomlands for 66 years.
In a statement released to The Associated Press Wednesday, Inslee describes the existing pipes and the proposed tunnel as "a clear and present danger to the health of the Great Lakes and to our climate.”
Further stated by Inslee, his proposed Freedom from Fossil Fuels Plan "clearly articulates how America can and must reject projects like the Line 5 pipeline and tunnel, and transition our nation off of fossil fuels.”
He says the tunnel should be a primary topic during a Democratic presidential debate in Detroit this month and is encouraging all Democratic presidential candidates to join him in opposition to the dangerous pipeline.
Editor's note: Enbridge Energy is a financial sponsor of Michigan Radio.