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Line 5 protestors gather at Mackinac Island conference

Flickr User abarndweller

Environmental groups are using a large gathering of Michigan’s political and business leaders on Mackinac Island to pressure the state to shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5.

Jim Lively is with a northern Michigan environmental group. He says a recent incident where a ship’s anchor dented Line 5 shows how vulnerable it is.

“So, it’s really, really urgent that our leaders take action now ‘cause you can’t undo an oil spill. You have to take care of it in advance.”

Governor Rick Snyder is at the conference, and says he’s aware of the protests. Snyder says studies on the safety of Line 5 and possible alternatives are underway.

“They haven’t been released yet. They’re in process. They’re on a track to come out probably in a July timeframe. But we are taking actions. I mean I just issued the no-anchor order recently. So, this is serious stuff.”

Snyder signed an order last week to create a temporary rule that forbids dropping anchor in the straits except in emergencies. That was after a mishap where a ship dragged an anchor on the bottom of the straits. That caused a mineral oil spill and dented Line 5.