UA Disappointed in MI Gov. Whitmer Decision to Revoke Line 5 Easement

Monday, November 23, 2020

Dear Governor Whitmer,

On behalf of the entire United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA), we are extremely disappointed in your decision to betray union families and revoke the 1953 easement to shut down the long-standing operation of Enbridge’s Line 5 underwater pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac. As you know, Line 5 is built and maintained by the best trained and most-highly skilled union craftspeople, including members of the United Association.

For nearly 70 years, Line 5 has safely transported energy between Ontario and the Great Lakes region. For Michiganders, that means lower utility bills each month as well as reliable electricity and heat in their homes. In addition, pipelines have the lowest carbon footprint among modes of energy transportation. This poorly thought-out decision does more to harm the environment as it shifts transportation to rail and tanker, two modes of transportation with high carbon emissions and a much higher rate of accidents.  

Instead of listening to the fringe activists looking to advance a political agenda, I urge you to think of the mainstream majority of those who elected you to put working families first. If there is one lesson to be learned from the 2020 election, it is that the vast majority of Americans – including Michiganders – are hungry for bipartisan consensus. These extreme activists might be noisy, but the silence caused by this decision around the family dinner table during the holidays of those laid-off Michiganders just trying to make ends meet is deafening. 

Simply put, the Line 5 pipeline is both a safe and effective means of energy transportation that helps power the entire region. The UA invests more than $275 million annually in our training and new technology, making our members the best-trained and most highly-skilled in the industry. As a result, Line 5 operates with new advancements in technology, like auto-shutoffs, that ensure it is incredibly safe with no environmental impact.

On behalf of the more than 359,000 members of the United Association, I urge you to reconsider your decision to shut down Line 5. We thought we elected an ally for working families as we work to deliver clean, safe, and affordable resources to Michiganders. Sadly, your decision is directly responsible for the loss of jobs of the highly-skilled Brothers and Sisters of the United Association. It is a decision we will not soon forget. 

Sincerely yours,

Mark McManus
General President
United Association