"A Great Lakes Pipeline Tangles Politics in Two Battleground States"

"Line 5 crosses tribal lands, runs beneath the water and needs major upgrades. Opponents fear spills. Supporters envision jobs. Everyone sees a fight."

"An icy crust on the Straits of Mackinac is melting into slush atop a shimmering, narrow waterway prized for its beauty and its role in supporting the local economy.

Snaking along the bottom of the heavily trafficked Straits, which connect Lake Huron to Lake Michigan, is a four-mile section of an oil and gas pipeline known as Line 5 at the center of a debate about whether it belongs there at all.

The fight over Line 5 in both Michigan and Wisconsin, where another section of the pipeline crosses the Bad River Reservation, could have sweeping implications for the power of states to regulate fossil fuels, for tribal sovereignty and for U.S.-Canada relations. Some or all of these issues are bound to surface in the upcoming presidential election.

Both Wisconsin and Michigan are battleground states. And in either place the debate over Line 5 could complicate election-year politics, particularly as candidates compete to eke out any advantage with voters they can find, whether on environmental issues, fossil fuel reliance or jobs."

Rebecca Halleck and Dionne Searcey report for the New York Times March 27, 2024.

Source: NYTimes, 03/28/2024