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Public voices oppostion to pipeline at Advisory Board meeting

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Over 200 people came to a Pipeline Advisory Board Meeting on Monday (6-12-17) to voice opposition to the continued operation of the Line 5 Pipeline Beneath the straits of Mackinac.

 

The three hour public comment period was utilized by local residents, environmental groups, and tribal members.

 

Outside of the meeting a giant puppet of Attorney General Bill Shuette - who environmental groups say hasn’t taken fast enough action on pipeline shutdown - was joined by protesters covered in sticky, oil-like goo.

 

Edward Grant is one of the protesters covered in a sticky brown substance. He said he drove over from Alpena to be here.

 

“This looks like oil this is actually chocolate cake batter. We’ve been calling this the enbridge tan because if the pipeline bursts this is what a normal swimmer may look like.”

 

Desmond Berry is with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. He said the pipeline needs to be shut down.

 

“I have no confidence in either the Governor’s Office or the Attorney General’s Office, nor do I have any confidence with regards to the pipeline safety advisory board. I have confidence in the citizens of the state of Michigan and the citizens of the twelve federally recognized tribes in Michigan to push this issue.”

 

Mike Shriberg is with the National Wildlife Federation and sits on the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board. He said he expects more concrete action when two independent studies on the safety of the pipeline are released in July.

 

“We heard a lot about what the Attorney General has said, he’s said Line 5’s days are numbered. He’s also said that he needs more information to figure out exactly how to decommission Line 5. That information will be available in a matter of weeks and then it’s decision time. The question is whether the Attorney General will follow through with the commitments - I believe he will.”

 

Ryan Duffy, of Enbridge Energy, said the company shares the public's interest in keeping the Great Lakes safe.

 

“We’re here to listen and that’s what we’re doing. We think it’s good that so many people want to come out and be a part of the conversation and that so many people are passionate about energy in Michigan.”

 

The next Pipeline Advisory Board Meeting is expected sometime in September.