The Truth About Line 5
Line 5 was designed with a single goal in mind: to safely and reliably transport the energy families and businesses require each day in a manner that also preserves Michigan’s natural resources and supports the region’s economy.
With a strong understanding of the Straits and its weather conditions, the same team that designed and constructed the iconic Mackinac Bridge also designed and constructed Line 5 to stand the test of time to serve Michigan’s energy needs.
SAFE AND SECURE
Straits of Mackinac crossing is the most inspected segment of pipe in North America. It is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and recently passed a federally required high pressure test that showed it in near-new condition. It also showed the chance of an incident in the next 30 years is less than 1%.
HELPING THE ECONOMY
Shutting down Line 5 immediately would drive up the costs of gasoline and energy in Michigan making it harder for Michigan businesses to compete and create jobs. It would also put residents at risk because it supplies 65 percent of the propane used by families to heat homes in the Upper Peninsula and 55 percent of the propane to all of rural Michigan families and businesses.
Line 5 creates 900 direct Michigan jobs, and generates $45 million in wages and $7-$10 million in tax revenue annually.
The oil and natural gas industry in Michigan directly and indirectly supports 47,105 jobs. That’s 22,781 jobs statewide and another 24,324 indirect jobs.
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WHAT IS LINE 5 AND WHY WAS IT BUILT?
In 1953, leaders from the Great Lakes region determined that freighters using the Great Lakes to carry oil and other key fuels to locations throughout the region posed a high risk for incident to the sensitive resources within the Great Lakes region that help support the region’s economy. The severe weather events in the Great Lakes region also made the transport of petroleum products by freighters less reliable, particularly in winter months when the timely delivery of energy products was most crucial.
Line 5 was built in conjunction with Michigan and regional governments to address the need to safely, reliably, and efficiently move growing volumes of fuels to refineries in the Great Lakes region. Subsequently, it removed oil-carrying barges from the waters of the Great Lakes.
Even in 1953, the engineers of Line 5 knew that crossing the Straits of Mackinac required the smartest design, the best pipe materials and some unique considerations to ensure that fuels got to where they were needed and waterways remained protected. Accordingly, Line 5 was designed to minimize risks: twin spans of one-inch, seamless carbon steel; a durable protective coating; product moving at very low pressure; continuous monitoring and maintenance, and technology upgrades
that exceed federal requirements. After six decades, Line 5 today remains what its designers envisioned: a steady, reliable, and efficient energy asset that keeps Michigan’s communities powered and the Great Lakes protected.