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Michels pledges support for Line 5 at Superior event

The 645-mile long pipeline has been under scrutiny in recent years.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels speaks at a campaign event at Stack Brothers in Superior on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Contributed / Tim Michels campaign
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SUPERIOR — Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels visited Superior recently, highlighting Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline.

“We need to make sure that Line 5 gets built, we keep the price of fuel down, the price of heating your home down, the price for farmers to dry their corn down, and we need to make sure that the family-supporting jobs that are up here continue to have the ability to thrive,” Michels said in the parking lot of Stack Bros. on Oct. 9, according to a news release sent by his campaign.

Romaine Quinn, the Republican candidate running for Wisconsin's 25th Senate District seat, joined Michels at the Superior event.

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Romaine Quinn, a Republican running for Wisconsin's 25th District State Senate seat, joins gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels at a campaign stop in Superior on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2022.
Contributed / Tim Michels campaign

“When we look at energy costs right now, I know my wife and I are paying twice as much for propane this winter than we did just last year,” Quinn said according to the news release. “We know gas is above $4 per gallon again in much of the district, and we need real, consistent and reliable energy across northern Wisconsin, and we know Line 5 can deliver that.”

Michels later walked downtown Superior, meeting with supporters and voters at Jack’s Bar and 3rd Base Bar, the news release said.

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Line 5 is a 69-year-old pipeline that runs 645 miles from Superior through northern Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario. It carries up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids per day.

The pipeline has faced opposition for several years. In 2019, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge in federal court to shut Line 5 down and remove the pipeline from 12 parcels of tribal lands. As a result, Enbridge proposed building a new line that would run around the Bad River Researvation at a cost of $450 million.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported in July that Michels Pipeline, Inc., — a company owned by Michels Corp. — signed a letter of intent to serve as the project's main contractor. Michels is a co-owner of Michels Corp.

Michels said in April that he would divest himself from the business if elected, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. However, he has declined to provide details about how that would work, the Journal Sentinel reported.

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Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune

Michigan officials also filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the Canadian energy firm, seeking to stop the pipeline from flowing through the Straits of Mackinac. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a brief in support of Michigan's suit.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hasn't yet issued a construction permit for the project and is completing an environmental review before making that decision, according to reporting from WPR.

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Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the regional editor for Duluth Media Group, overseeing the Cloquet Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.
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