State and Federal Policy Leaders Support Great Lakes Business Network Initiatives at Mackinac Island Policy Reception

State and Federal Policy Leaders Support Great Lakes Business Network Initiatives at Mackinac Island Policy Reception

Contact: Beth Wallace, Managing Director Great Lakes Business Network; glbnconnect@gmail.com, 734.476.3586

Jim Lively, Program Director, Groundwork, jim@groundworkcenter.org, 231.360.7222

Mackinac Island — Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel, U.S. Senator Gary Peters and several congressional members thanked the Great Lakes Business Network for taking a leading position to decommission the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. During the Mackinac Island reception, elected officials also offered strong support for the Networks positions on other critical Great Lakes policy issues, including advancing clean energy, addressing harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie and stopping asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The event was held during the annual Detroit Chamber of Commerce Mackinac Policy Conference, when nearly 2,000 Michigan leaders in government and business gather at the islands Grand Hotel.

Attorney General Nessel reaffirmed one of her top priorities during her election, noting that she intends to “keep that campaign promise and assure all of you that I’m doing everything I possibly can to decommission Line 5.” She indicated that she is providing Governor Whitmer time to negotiate a solution that will shut down the pipeline as quickly as possible but pledged to take legal action to decommission the Line 5 pipeline “by the end of next month” if those negotiations fail to yield appropriate action.

Michigan Senator Peters also addressed the reception and spoke of his longstanding concerns about an oil spill in the freshwater of the Straits. He specifically highlighted the lack of adequate oil spill cleanup solutions under ice cover and took issue with the federal oversight agency, PHMSA, classifying Line 5 at the Straits as an “onshore pipeline”. He also described federal funding for a Center for Innovation that would focus on the science of cleaning up oil spills in freshwater.

Congressional representatives Dan Kildee (D, Flint) and Andy Levin (D, Warren) also spoke at the reception. They addressed concerns about PFAS contamination and discussed advancing Electric Vehicle charging stations across Michigan and the nation. They both acknowledged the important role that business voices can play in shaping public policy and thanked the business leaders in the Great Lakes Business Network for their leadership.

The Great Lakes Business Network has more than 120 business members from across Michigan and the Great Lakes basin and currently has an open business sign-on letter to advocate for solutions to the ongoing Lake Erie harmful algal bloom crisis, which is predicted to be exacerbated by extreme flooding in the Great Lakes this spring.