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Say NO to Line 5 tunnel!

Dear Tribal Members:

Our Sault Tribe Board of Directors has asked me to send this letter to you to help in stopping Michigan Senate Bill 1197 introduced on Thursday, November 8, to grant the Mackinac Bridge Authority, “to acquire a bridge connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, including causeways, tunnels, roads and all useful related equipment and facilities…” 

While our Ogichidaa Anishinaabe Kwe were holding a water ceremony on the northern shore of the Straits of Mackinac and I was giving public comment opposing a foreign oil company’s continued exploitative practices and the state’s dereliction of our natural resources, legislation was introduced to grant this authority to the Mackinac Bridge Authority, an authority for which it was never intended. Their plan is to enact this legislation during lame duck before January 1 so incoming Michigan Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General-Elect Dana Nessel have no say in how to handle this impending disaster. 

The recently retired Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) Chair William Gnodtke opposed the proposal at the November 8 meeting, saying, “The MBA is working just fine…It makes no sense to fundamentally alter its mission to try to fix another, completely unrelated problem.” Further, he and seven other retired MBA members attest, “We strongly urge all those in Lansing and elsewhere to protect the Mackinac Bridge and to end attempts to significantly expand the Authority’s role by assigning it responsibilities that have absolutely no relationship to the fundamental mission it has successfully carried for 68 years.” 

Each day, Line 5 carries over nearly 20 million gallons of oil under the Straits. The pipeline was intended to last only 50 years and is 15 years beyond safe operations. Recall the nearly 1 million gallons of oil that Enbridge spilled from Line 6 at the Kalamazoo River in 2010! It will take 100 years to return to the pre-spill ecology and took seven years of litigation to cover just some of the liability. Line 5 is estimated to cause $2 billion in damage and will decimate our tourism and whitefish fishery forever. This is too great a risk to destroy our fishing tradition we have participated in for thousands of years. 

Please join me, our tribal board, fellow Sault Tribe citizens, tribal people and friends all across the state to write to your State Senator and Representative to tell them to oppose any legislation or action other than one to shut down Line 5! Attached is a letter for your state senator and representative.

Find your state representative here: http://house.michigan.gov/mhrpublic/frmFindaRep.aspx.
Find your state senator here: http://www.senate.mi.gov/fysbyaddress.html. 

Then, just sign your name and mail it. If you prefer, you can also call your representatives, using your letter as a script. 

Please contact me at 906‑635‑6050 or email me should you wish to further discuss our request.

Chi Miigwech,
Aaron A. Payment

Line 5 tunnel Letters

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