Important discussion of oil pipelines alongside Mackinac Bridge this week

A discussion on the oil piplines alongside the Mackinac Bridge will take place this week at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

- Lawmakers are cracking down on the controversial use of Line 5 -- twin oil pipelines running through a stretch of water with the treacherous current, right alongside the Mackinac Bridge.

Both of Michigan's U.S. senators and many of our Congress members are asking for urgent action on the 63-year-old twin pipelines run by Enbridge.

"I've been reading through all of their test results -- that's where I started to have a bit of consternation when I saw that there was a 42 to 51 percent degradation of some of the mills' strength of the interior of this pipeline," said U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI).

Miller is one member of Congress now asking the federal government involved.

"We need to make sure that we are transiting the energy very safely," she said.

Miller recently introduced a bill calling for a study to be completed on the structural integrity of Line 5 within the next 18 months -- something state leaders were tasked to do last year.

"If there's no problem -- good, but if there is a problem then they're going to have to shut that pipeline down and do something else because we cannot afford under any circumstances to have a rupture in an oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac," Miller said.

The debate on what to do with the line will be coming to a head at the 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference this week. Major political and environmental players are expected to attend.

"Eighty-five percent of all the drinking supply for the United States is coming from the Great Lakes -- a lot of it, so it is so important that it is always taken care of," Miller said.

FOX 2 reached out to Gov. Rick Snyder's office repeatedly to ask where the state is at in their investigation of Line 5, but has not received a response.

We'll be heading up north to the conference to track down lawmakers to get some answers, so stay tuned.

Enbridge officials say their pipeline is safe and fit for service. Click here to access a link to their Web site with more information.


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