Michigan House panel approves oil pipeline legislation

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LANSING, Mich. — Legislation that would facilitate the replacement of an oil pipeline in the Great Lakes is a step closer to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

A Republican-led House panel approved the bill 3-0 Tuesday, with two Democrats abstaining. The measure could be passed by the House later in the day.

It would require a state authority to quickly OK the Snyder administration’s deal for the construction and operation of a utility tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac. The tunnel would house a replacement for a segment of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. The company would pay for the tunnel.

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Supporters say the tunnel would protect the lakes from a spill, but opponents say Line 5 shouldn’t remain open for up to 10 years open while the tunnel and replacement segment are built.

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