LANSING — Despite Enbridge’s long history of environmental negligence in Michigan, a bill passed the House today that allows for the conditional operation of Line 5 while a tunnel is built in the Straits of Mackinac. This is a result of a closed-door deal struck by Gov. Rick Snyder and other Republican leadership, tying the hands of the incoming governor and forcing the state into a long-term deal with Enbridge. It has the potential to cost millions of taxpayer dollars without any guarantee to create new jobs that will pay fair wages to local workers. In response, state Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) issued the following statement:

“Building a new tunnel and pipeline is not addressing the immediate and serious threat of a Line 5 rupture. Brokering this deal behind closed doors addresses the demand for accountability our state’s voters made last month when they elected new leadership for Michigan. The people of our state want clean water, and they don’t want to be left on the hook if, yet again, Enbridge fails to prevent a leak. Rushing through this plan simply to prevent our state’s incoming executive officers from being able to provide their input, without taking the time to ensure new jobs provide fair wages to local workers, will put our environment, our economy and our health at risk. Furthermore, with the failure of today’s amendments to ensure that Michigan workers are primarily employed and to link their pay to the prevailing wages, in order to protect the jobs and workers who would likely be working on the tunnel project, my vote against this legislation was solidified.”