Line 5 poses threat to Great Lakes drinking water

At Brewery Vivant & Broad Leaf Local Beer, we depend on clean drinking water to brew our beer. The cities of Grand Rapids and Kentwood, where my breweries are located, get its water from Lake Michigan which is currently at risk due to the instability of the Line 5 pipeline.

Lake Michigan is our only source of drinking water. Should Line 5 leak or rupture, the lake is at risk of serious contamination. Our residents and business owners need assurances their water will remain safe and clean now and far into the future. Enbridge Energy cannot provide that.

This company has repeatedly shown how untrustworthy they are. Earlier this summer, Enbridge discovered damage to the pipeline. Twice. Ironically, a report showed an Enbridge-contracted vessel was most likely the cause of the second instance of damage. They literally can’t even trust their own contractors to not damage their pipeline. And, we just passed the 10-year anniversary of the largest inland oil spill in the U.S. which was caused by Enbridge. We cannot afford for history to repeat itself.

We simply cannot trust Enbridge to protect our primary source of drinking water and that’s why Gov. Gretchen Whitmer must remove the pipeline from our Great Lakes.

As a member of the Great Lakes Business Network, I join my fellow members in calling for the state to implement the alternative modes of propane delivery identified by the U.P. Energy Task Force and London Economics International report, and redirect millions of state tax dollars currently allocated to supporting the tunnel toward building green jobs and a resilient, clean energy economy in Michigan.

Our state should be looking toward cleaner energy sources that live up to our “Pure Michigan” way of life and that protect the integrity of our lakes for generations to come.

We need Gov. Whitmer to take immediate action to remove this threat to our water, economy and way of life. As a business owner and Michigander, I urge the governor to end Enbridge’s easement agreement with the state and shut down Line 5 – once and for all.

Kris Spaulding is owner of Brewery Vivant & Broad Leaf Local Beer and a member of the Great Lakes Business Network