LANSING — Despite a long history of negligence in Michigan, a bill to allow the Canadian company Enbridge to continue operating Line 5 while a tunnel is built in the Straits of Mackinac passed the House today. The legislation was a result of a closed-door deal struck by Gov. Rick Snyder and other Republican leadership and ties the hands of the incoming governor. By forcing Michigan into a long-term deal with Enbridge, it is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars without any guarantee that new jobs will be created or fair wages will be given to Michigan workers. In response, state Rep. Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) issued the following statement:

“Enbridge Energy has proven time and again that it prioritizes its profit margins above all else — not the safety of our water, the health of our citizens, or the strength of our economy. To trust this corporation to keep our waters clean while constructing a tunnel is foolish and irresponsible. This bill is an obvious Republican attempt to avoid deliberation, supersede the decision making of our Governor-Elect, and instead rush through a stop-gap proposal. We must ensure that we are protecting our Great Lakes before a crisis occurs. Unfortunately, we have seen what Enbridge is capable of, in causing the largest inland oil spill in our country’s history occurring in the Kalamazoo River. We cannot risk another catastrophe. The future of Michigan is at stake.”