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Line 5 Protest Includes Santa And A Horse

Cheyna Roth
Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) Thursday, dozens of people, and a horse, called on the governor and state Attorney General to shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. That’s the pipeline that carries oil and natural gas liquid under the Straits of Mackinac.

Protestors gathered outside the state Capitol. Including Clifford, a horse from Drummond Island. Nancy Bailey is Clifford’s “human.” She said Clifford is a therapy animal, but he came to the protest because of environmental concerns surrounding Line 5 and a potential leak.

“We spend all summer playin’ in Lake Huron and it’s always clean and we don’t want that to end,” she said.

Clifford, sporting tinsel and a small Santa hat, did manage to get into the governor’s building, but was escorted out after a few minutes.

Speaking of Santa, he was there too. He delivered thousands of comments to the governor and attorney general asking them to shut down the line. But Santa said, they might be on the naughty list this year.

“They’ve been a little naughty,” he said. “I’m gonna give them a chance, a chance to redeem themselves at least in time for this Christmas. If not, next Christmas.”

Recently, a pipeline safety advisory board called for a temporary shutdown of the line and a deeper look into alternatives to the line.

Andrea Bitely is with the Attorney General’s office. She said the AG is in favor of shutting down Line Five, but it’s not something that can happen overnight.

“You would hate to have someone in the Upper Peninsula not be able to heat their home in the winter because of closing Line Five,” she said. “We have to take into account everyone who is dependent on Line Five as well as the environmental risk.”

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