We’re breaking new records every week in Michigan.
But that’s not the kind of records we want to achieve.
It shouldn’t break the bank to fill your gas tank, and yet gas prices have risen above $5 a gallon.
Too many families are suddenly struggling to fuel up to get to work.
These exorbitant gas prices are exactly what critics of secure energy access are calling for, and if they were successful, they would only fly higher. Critics continue their crusade to shut down the already safe Line 5 pipeline that supplies 540,000 barrels a day of the fuel we use to fuel our cars, power our equipment and run our businesses.
Critics oddly object to the obvious solution – moving part of the safe pipeline out of the water in the Strait of Mackinac and putting it deep underground in the state-of-the-art Great Lakes Tunnel.
There is good news, however. This summer, state and federal permitting agencies have the opportunity to protect your wallet by approving the permits needed to begin construction of the tunnel. We encourage them to seize these opportunities without delay.
Critics’ only solution is less fuel – during the most serious energy crisis of our lifetime.
Let’s not mince words – it would cost an arm and a leg.
In fact, according to the latest numbers from the nonpartisan Consumer Energy Alliance, without Line 5, the state would pay up to $2 billion more per year for fuel. Across the Midwest, those costs could eclipse $29 billion in higher fuel prices over the next five years alone.
Think you’re paying too much at the pump today?
The price at the pump, however, is only an impact that Michigan would feel without the tunnel.
Our state relies on Line 5 for jobs. We depend on it in the energy sector. Manufacturers depend on it. The chemical industry depends on this fuel.
Line 5 means jobs. Great jobs. Building the tunnel means developing and protecting these jobs. Tens of thousands of them.
It will also protect the Great Lakes and our environment.
The good news is that the vast majority of Michiganders — Democrats and Republicans alike — already support the common-sense solution underway to make the already safe pipeline even safer. Lawmakers have already united in backing a bipartisan plan to build the Great Lakes Tunnel.
It is now a question of authorizing the agencies to give the green light to start construction.
This summer, the Great Lakes Tunnel permitting process is taking center stage. Although permits have already been approved by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, major approvals from the Michigan Civil Service Commission and the US Army Corps of Engineers are currently in the works. .
Every day that passes without advancing the Great Lakes Tunnel is a lost opportunity to ensure the affordability and reliability of our energy while protecting our jobs and the Great Lakes at the same time.
We stand with labor leaders, business organizations, families and employers to call on regulators to expedite these permits and move the Great Lakes Tunnel construction process forward.
Michigan needs Line 5 and we need the Great Lakes Tunnel.
It’s time for opponents to put an end to stall tactics.
It’s time to grant the permits.
Derek Dalling is executive director of the Michigan Propane Gas Association and leader of the Great Lakes Michigan Jobs Coalition.