SUPERIOR, Wis. – Proponents of Enbridge’s Line 5 relocation project got a chance to see what will happen underground on Tuesday.
Enbridge and the Wisconsin Jobs and Energy Coalition hosted local leaders, union representatives and tribal members at their Superior terminal to see the 30-inch-diameter steel pipe up close, as well as the opportunity to sign it.
“It’s really exciting to be able to be here today and have this piece of pipe,” says Lorraine Little, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Enbridge, “so people can come up close and see how great it is. thick and important and help understand what’s going on in the ground, what is line 5, what does it look like, so they get an intimate and personal experience.
About 40 miles of similar pipeline will be placed between Ashland and Hurley around the Bad River Tribe Reservation, replacing the current pipe running through it.
Once completed, it will be able to continue the current work of the pipeline which carries approximately 540,000 barrels of light crude oil. This pipeline has been in service since 1953 and also transports liquid natural gas between Superior and Sarnia, Ontario.
Little says he plays a vital role in helping meet local energy needs in Wisconsin and Michigan, while keeping energy prices as affordable as possible. “We all need this energy and use it every day, and it is essential that all our pipelines are operational because it is the supply that we all depend on.
Little adds that this tour and pipe show how many different organizations come together to support what they say is the safest way to move oil and natural gas across the country. “It shows how vital, secure and affordable energy is to…ensure that families have the energy they need, as well as businesses and farms. Line 5 is part of this regional energy supply, and it is an important part of it.
The 34-foot section of pipe on display will make stops at Mellen and Hurley for people to view. Construction will begin once Enbridge receives state and federal permits to do so. Little says they have agreements in place for 700 unionized workers to be part of the relocation project, with benefits that should support local economies in Northwestern Wisconsin and the Bad River Tribe.
While support is high in Northland for this project, Line 5 has received opposition elsewhere on its 645-mile route for possible environmental impact.