UP lawmakers say they weren’t consulted or contacted about UP Energy Task Force

Jun 10, 2019

State representatives from the Upper Peninsula say they are frustrated Governor Gretchen Whitmer did not contact or consult them about the UP Energy Task force she announced last week.

The task force was formed to assess overall energy needs in the Upper Peninsula, but is most immediately concerned with finding alternative ways to get propane into the UP beyond the Line 5 oil pipeline.

Republican State Representative Beau LaFave is from Iron Mountain.

“There’s been no input from the UP Lawmakers about who goes on this,” LaFave said. “I don’t think we’re going to get a very good product out of a hyper partisan commission with no regard to the supply problems in the Upper Peninsula.”

LaFave said he supports the Line 5 tunnel plan and thinks that it is the best way to get propane into the Upper Peninsula. He cited the state’s 2017 Alternatives Analysis, which he said found that the tunnel was the best way to protect the environment and bring energy to the UP.

“It is the definition of a win win win and the Governor is looking at that in the face and wants to say no to it all.”

LaFave said there are UP Energy issues that the task force can address - including working to lower electricity rates.

But, he said, the task force won’t be addressing those issues until 2021.

The Governor’s office did not respond to our request for comment.