LANSING — Despite a long history of negligence in Michigan, a bill to allow 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, tying the hands of the incoming governor and forcing the state into a long-term deal with Enbridge, potentially costing millions of taxpayer dollars without any guarantee that new jobs will pay fair wages to local workers. In response, state Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) issued the following statement:

“Corporations that pose a threat to Michigan’s water should not be given a free pass to pollute our environment, especially when that free pass is granted during an 11th-hour deal orchestrated to curb the authority of Michigan’s incoming executive branch. This deal will allow Line 5, one of the greatest threats to the safety and security of our waterways, to continue operating with little to no oversight and leave taxpayers to pick up the tab. Allowing Line 5 to continue operating under these circumstances recklessly prioritizes Enbridge’s profits over the safety and well-being of our state."