Clean Water Action Welcomes Senator Sanders’ Statement Opposing Line 5 Oil Tunnel

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The following statement can be attributed to Sean McBrearty, Michigan Campaign Organizer, Clean Water Action:

“Today, Senator Bernie Sanders has joined Michigan residents, groups, and tribal communities in opposition to Enbridge Energy’s plan to build an oil tunnel through the Straits of Mackinac for the outdated and corroding Line 5 pipeline. Washington Governor Jay Inslee previous spoke in support of efforts to decommission Line 5 without a replacement tunnel. Climate change is already impacting our water and health -- we have to address this crisis now by transitioning to a clean energy future. Unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure like the Line 5 oil tunnel will slow these efforts. We thank Senator Bernie Sanders for joining this fight.

Another reason to scuttle the Line 5 replacement tunnel is Enbridge’s abysmal record. Nine years ago today, Enbridge’s Line 6B broke along the banks of Talmadge Creek. Instead of immediately shutting the line down, operators increased the pressure and left it running for 17 hours. 1.2 million gallons of tar sands oil spilled into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River, one of the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history. Oil remains in the Kalamazoo to this day.

We cannot let this happen in the Straits of Mackinac, or at any of Line 5’s other 400 water crossings in Michigan. Today, we renew our call for all presidential candidates to make their stances on this critical issue known at or before the upcoming Democratic debates in Detroit. Further, we invite Michiganders and all those who value our Great Lakes to join us in this effort by signing this petition to presidential candidates.”


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Clean Water Action is Michigan’s largest grassroots conservation group with over 250,000 members across the state. Through direct advocacy and education we organize Michigan residents to protect the Great Lakes and our water resources. Learn more at

Sean McBrearty
Michael Kelly