press releaseImage of Mackinac Bridge with text below on the water, "Defuse the ticking time bomb in the Great Lakes"

News from Progress Michigan

November 15, 2021

Contact: Sam Inglot,

Right Wing Groups in Michigan Spread Line 5 Misinformation 

Michigan Freedom Fund and friends use Enbridge talking points, imperiling our Great Lakes 

MICHIGAN – Rather than advocating for homegrown energy right here in Michigan or protecting the health of our Great Lakes, right wing groups tied to the DeVos family and other special interests are pushing lies about the dangerous Line 5 pipeline and energy pricing. 

In the past few days, groups including Michigan Freedom FundMichigan Rising Action, statewide candidates including Ryan Kelley, and elected officials including Rep. Tim Walberg and Rep. Lisa McClain have all spread misinformation about Line 5 and efforts to protect the Great Lakes. As pressure mounts to support decommissioning Line 5, a nearly 70-year-old oil and gas pipeline that runs through the Great Lakes, it is apparent that these groups and individuals are being shills for the fossil fuel lobby. 

“Lake Superior isn’t deep enough to get to the bottom of the lies that the critics of Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Nessel spread about the pair’s efforts to protect the Great Lakes and stop energy price gouging,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Enbridge and the fossil fuel lobby spend millions of dollars to misinform the public and these right-wing groups and elected officials are part of the problem. Michiganders have got to understand how the fossil fuel lobby is driving up energy costs for everyone.” 

Here are the facts: 

Michigan pays the price as Line 5 stays open  

  • Line 5 is an export pipeline that acts as a shortcut for Canadian energy. 90 to 95 percent of the oil which flows through Line 5 ends up in Canada. 
  • Families, farmers and businesses pay more for propane due to price gouging from the industry, which makes costs particularly volatile. 
  • According to recent reporting in the Petoskey News-Review, propane retailers say that exports are driving up costs that will harm households throughout this winter and beyond. 

Shutting down Line 5 is good economics

  • report commissioned by the Republican Rick Snyder administration found there would be a meager two cent increase in gas prices in the event of a pipeline shutdown. 
  • Moreover, when Line 5 was briefly shut down during the summer of 2020, a study found that this action had no impact on consumer gas prices. 
  • Scientists estimate the costs of keeping Line 5 open at $1 billion in climate damages and would generate 27 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. These emissions are equivalent to adding 6.8 new coal-fired power plants or about 6 million new cars to the road.

Michiganders can access the same energy sources without Line 5 

  • Governor Whitmer issued a four-step plan earlier this year for how to use sources other than Line 5 to protect families and business from unduly high energy bills. 
  • With funding from the Whitmer administration, the Upper Peninsula’s propane storage capacity will soon triple, allowing residents to have stable, affordable and reliable energy sources throughout the year.
  • New rail systems are increasing propane delivery and suppliers like U.P. Propane are no longer dependent on a damaged, dangerous and old Line 5 pipeline for propane. 
  • The Build Back Better Act that President Biden is pushing forward would put money back in people’s wallets by expanding electrification initiatives and providing good-paying jobs here in the state to install household appliances and local energy infrastructure projects. 

There are too many costs and risks associated with Line 5

  • The Mackinac Straits tunnel is a far-fetched fallacy. The supposed construction of a tunnel is a delay tactic meant to prolong a ticking time bomb beneath the Great Lakes while Enbridge receives $1.76 million in profits each day the pipeline remains in operation. 
  • Enbridge is using the Great Lakes and the Straits of Mackinac, one of the most biologically sensitive habitats in the world, as a bypass mechanism for its oil and gas profit. It’s why University of Michigan researchers have called the area around Line 5 the worst place for an oil spill
  • recent oil spill off the coast of California spilled 25,000 gallons. A spill here in Michigan would cause severe economic and environmental damages, as what happened when Enbridge caused an oil spill in the Kalamazoo River ten years ago. 

This month, Michigan’s 12 federally recognized tribes sent a letter to the Biden administration that affirmed Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Nessel’s just actions to decommission Line 5. Our state should be able to invest in energy solutions right here instead of being at the whim of multinational fossil fuel corporations.