State Rep. Greg Markkanen, of Hancock, today criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for declaring an energy emergency in Michigan when northern portions of the state face the very real possibility of a greater long-term emergency later in the year due to her decisions regarding the Line 5 pipeline.
“The governor should know a thing or two about energy emergencies. She’s in the process of creating one for people and businesses in the Upper Peninsula by not having a sufficient plan in place of Line 5 being offline,” Markkanen said. “Having to issue this order – on top of events we have seen around the country recently – should be a dose of reality for the governor. Top-notch energy infrastructure is critical to lives and livelihoods in our area of the state. We need to protect and strengthen this infrastructure by constructing the tunnel which will house this vital pipeline.”
Late last year, the governor announced Line 5, which carries raw sweet crude oil necessary to produce propane, would be shut down by May.
Whitmer issued the recent energy emergency order to streamline propane delivery during an ongoing nationwide cold snap. It exempts motor carriers and drivers who transport propane and heating oil from compliance with maximum weekly driving and on-duty limits. The order is in effect through Feb. 28 and comes after many other states throughout the country declared similar emergencies.
Rep. Markkanen currently serves as vice-chair for the House Energy Committee and the House Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee.
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