LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. John Damoose spoke out today and was joined by the rest of the Senate Republican caucus in calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to end the unnecessary delays to permitting for the Great Lakes Tunnel Project for Line 5 and allow work to begin.
“I think most people around the state vastly underestimate the importance of Line 5 to Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula communities,” said Damoose, R-Harbor Springs. “Many people come up here to protest, but no one chooses to take the time to hear from locals who rely on the propane from Line 5 to heat their homes during the winter or offer a viable solution for the future.
“Without the unnecessary assault on energy in this state, we could be halfway done with the tunnel by now. Federal and state officials need to recognize the importance of this project, come together, and figure out how we can get it going.”
Damoose and other Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, encouraging them to end the unnecessary delays in government permitting that has halted construction on the tunnel project, which was approved with bipartisan support nearly five years ago.
Construction on the project was originally scheduled to begin in 2021, and the tunnel was expected to be opened and operating by 2024. Due to state and federal delays, those dates have been drastically set back. Recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suggested a decision from the agency is not expected until 2026.
“It’s time to get out of the way and build the tunnel,” Damoose said. “This is something that was approved through the legislative process with the necessary due diligence and with bipartisan support. We need to end the games and get shovels in the ground so we can take a big step forward toward reliable energy and environmental safety.”
Editor’s note: A copy of the letter is attached for your use. A link to the press conference can be found by clicking here.