According to written comments received by the Wisconsin DNR, supporters of the Enbridge Line 5 relocation project outnumber those opposed to the project by a 3-to-1 margin. With over 3,800 supporters urging the DNR to move forward with the project.
Madison, Wis – According to documents recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), through the first 45 days of the public comment period, supporters of the Enbridge Line 5 relocation project in northern Wisconsin have submitted over 3,800 written comments in support of the project. At the same time, those opposed to the project submitted approximately 1,200 written comments – many of which were not able to be verified as originating from Wisconsin residents.
“Wisconsinites are speaking loud and clear that they want access to reliable and affordable energy to heat their homes and power their vehicles,” said Corey Gall, President of the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association. “The Line 5 relocation project will ensure access to that energy while at the same time support more than 1,000 jobs in Wisconsin and inject $135 million into the state’s economy. That’s the very definition of a win-win scenario.”
According to an analysis of the written comments received by the DNR between December 16th, 2021 and January 31st, 2022, over 70 percent of all comments were in support of the project. Among those comments written in support of the project, approximately 90 percent can be verified as coming from residents of Wisconsin. In comparison, over 25 percent of all comments opposing the project came from outside of Wisconsin or failed to provide any indication of where they were located. When only looking at comments known to be submitted by Wisconsin residents, over 80 percent are written in support.
The Wisconsin DNR released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 relocation on December 16th, beginning the public comment period – which runs until March 18th. Initiated at the request of a Wisconsin tribe, the $450 million, 41-mile-long pipeline project seeks to continue the operation of this vital energy corridor. Moving about 540,000 barrels of crude oil and natural gas liquids a day, Line 5 is a critical part of the Upper Midwest’s gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and propane infrastructure.
In addition to being part of the state’s critical energy infrastructure, an independent economic impact study estimated the Line 5 relocation project would add $135 million to Wisconsin’s economic output, increase state tax revenues by millions and support more than 1,000 jobs in the State of Wisconsin. Enbridge has signed a letter of intent with Wisconsin-based Michels Pipeline, Inc. as the mainline contractor for the project. The company is also pledging more than 10 percent of the total budget ($46 million dollars) will be spent specifically with Native owned businesses, including the training and hiring of tribal members.