Climate Change & Economic Experts’ Testimony: Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel Permit Must be Denied
Lansing, MI — Climate scientists and economic experts submitted written testimony late yesterday to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) about the significance of excessive greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated if Enbridge’s Line 5 tunnel siting permit is approved. Expert testimony quantified the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would result from shutting down the line and building a tunnel, as compared to just shutting the line down. Additional experts calculated the cost of those GHG emissions, discussed the impacts of climate change on Michigan and the Great Lakes natural resources, and explained that closing down the line and not building a new tunnel is a feasible option.
The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) and the Michigan Climate Action Network (MiCAN) were granted permission last spring to present expert witnesses to demonstrate how the climate is impacted by Line 5 as part of a meaningful environmental review of the siting permit request before the MPSC.
In his testimony, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Ph.D., an interdisciplinary climate scientist and the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, further explained the impacts of climate change on Michigan and Great Lakes natural resources. “A notable increase in rainfall intensity has already occurred in the Midwest due to greenhouse gas emissions, and further emissions threaten our natural resources with a greater risk of flooding, erosion and degradation of waterway and coastal habitats,” he said. “To avoid unmanageable climate impacts requires the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and an end to construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure.”