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Enbridge, Line 5 Supporters Kick Off Safest Way Tour in Superior
Enbridge, Line 5 Supporters Kick Off Safest Way Tour in Superior

Supporters of the Enbridge Line 5 relocation project got a chance to see what will be going into the ground Tuesday.

Enbridge and the Wisconsin Jobs and Energy Coalition hosted local leaders, trade union representatives, and tribal members at their Superior terminal to get an up-close up look at the 30-inch diameter steel pipe, 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 get close and see how thick it is and how substantial it is and help understand what goes in the ground, what is Line 5, what does it look like.  So they get an up-close and personal experience.”

Around 40 miles of similar pipeline will be placed between Ashland and Hurley around the Bad River Tribe Reservation, replacing the current pipe going through it.

Once completed, it will be able to continue the pipe’s current work of transporting around 540,000 barrels of light crude oil.  This pipeline has been in service since 1953 and also transports natural gas liquid to locations between Superior and Sarnia, Ontario.

Little says it plays a vital role in the local energy needs for Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as keeping energy prices as affordable as possible.  “We all need and use this energy every single day, and it’s critical that we have all of our pipelines up and running because that’s the supply that we all rely on.

Little adds this tour and pipe showcases how many different organizations are coming together to support what they say is the safest way to transport oil and natural gas across the country.  “It represents just how vital, safe, and affordable energy is to…making sure that families have the energy they need, and businesses, and farms.  Line 5 is part of that regional energy supply, and it’s an important part of that.”

The 34-foot section of pipe on display will be making stops in Mellen and Hurley for people to see.  Construction will begin once Enbridge receives state and federal permits to do so.  Little says they have agreements in place so that 700 union workers will be part of the relocation project, with benefits expected to support the local economies in northwest Wisconsin and the Bad River Tribe.

While support is high in the Northland for this project, Line 5 has received opposition elsewhere across its 645-mile path for possible environmental impact.

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