By Doug Cunnigham
The proposed Line 5 replacement tunnel project under the straits of Mackinac may well be Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer’s first big issue. Whitmer has said it should be shut down but Michigan’s Building and Construction Trades Council, which endorsed Whitmer, supports the new Line 5 project. The oil and natural gas pipeline is old and Governor Snyder is cutting a deal with Enbridge to tunnel below the lake bed through bedrock to build a new pipeline. A pipeline that Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer vowed in statements to immediately oppose as governor. Pat Devlin, Secretary-Treasurer of Michigan’s Building and Construction Trade Council, says he hopes Whitmer can be persuaded that the Line 5 tunnel project is good for Michigan.
“Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer has come out and there has been statements made from her camp. If everybody can just take a little pause and let the new administration – our new leadership – get in place and sit down and have those constructive dialogues, I think when the whole story is told opinions are gonna change.”
Devlin’s unions endorsed Whitmer. And he says Michigan’s Building and Construction Trades members support the pipeline for its jobs and economic development. And he thinks the project will have the necessary environmental safeguards.
“The hard-working people that I represent love the outdoors. They love to hunt and fish. They care deeply about Michigan’s woods and waters. And they are completely committed to this project knowing it’s going to guarantee a safe environment for that Line 5.”
Devlin says his members take the environment very seriously but they believe shutting down Line 5 isn’t good for Michigan.