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SAULT STE. MARIE – Aaron Payment, chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, today issued a statement calling on the Michigan legislature and current Governor’s office to end its controversial lame-duck actions.

“The Snyder administration has just withdrawn its ill-considered proposal to shackle the Mackinac Bridge Authority with ownership, operation and liability for a pipeline tunnel at the Straits of Mackinac,” Payment said. “Michiganders’ howls of outrage have gotten through. However, this government seems to be hell-bent on pushing through unpopular measures on its way out the door.”

Legislators are writing new language to create an authority to own and manage the proposed tunnel in time for the end of the legislative session. The governor-elect and attorney general-elect, to be sworn in in January, have both stated opposition to the dual pipelines.

“A tunnel option would simply allow Enbridge to continue operating the aging, dented, damaged pipelines, endangering our fisheries and tourism, for an additional 10 years while they study and try to obtain permits for the tunnel. This is unacceptable,” Payment said. “Pump and Pray is not the way to manage Michigan’s and the tribes’ resources.”

In addition to fast-tracking a tunnel agreement before the end of the session, officials are also rushing through other controversial measures that would tie the hands of the incoming administration. State Bill 1211 would remove protections on half of Michigan’s wetlands by redefining what a wetland is. Other measures include stripping some of the voter-approved election fairness provisions and altering minimum wage proposals.

“This lame duck session has to stop trying to ram through regressive policies that Michiganders do not want,” Payment said. “There is a reason the other candidates won and this administration is coming off as sore losers by behaving this way.”

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY