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Health, Science and Environment

Commission will consider greenhouse gas dangers in Line 5 decision

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Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline by rickz is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
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The Michigan Public Service Commission will consider the environmental impact of greenhouse gasses in its decision on the future of Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. That’s part of an order issued Wednesday.

The Public Service Commission decision is one of several administrative and legal challenges faced by Enbridge. The company wants approval for a plan to bury a section of the pipeline inside a tunnel, and continue to use it to convey petroleum products beneath the Great Lakes.

Commission Chair Dan Scripps said the analysis has to look not just at the integrity of the line, but what’s flowing through it.

“As such, the commission cannot divorce a pipeline from its purpose.”

But the commission’s order applies only to the project to alter the portion of Line 5 that runs within the Straits of Mackinac. Opponents want the line removed entirely from the Great Lakes.