Enbridge remains committed to the tunnel as talks with the Governor fall short of reaching an agreed timeline

Early last week, Governor Whitmer set a deadline of Monday June 10th for the State and Enbridge to reach a conceptual agreement on the construction of the replacement tunnel for Line 5 and the shutdown of the existing pipeline. In this short timeframe, the sides were not able come to an agreeable timeline for the project’s completion.

Barring any permitting delays, Enbridge maintains it could complete a tunnel to house Line 5 by 2024. After which, they would decommission the existing line. Gov. Whitmer, however, has held firm to seeing the pipeline out of the water in two years. The decommissioning of Line 5 without a replacement would severally impact Michigan’s homes and businesses. The energy – gasoline, diesel, home heating propane, and the thousands of petroleum products derived from these resources, need to safely and efficiently reach communities across the state.

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EGLE names Dr. Brandy Brown as Climate and Energy Advisor

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For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2019
Jill A. Greenberg, EGLE Public Information Officer, GreenbergJ@Michigan.gov, 517-897-4965

EGLE names Dr. Brandy Brown as climate and energy advisor

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark today announced that Dr. Brandy Brown has been named the department’s climate and energy advisor. Brown will lead the Office of Climate and Energy, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer created in February 2019 when forming EGLE via Executive Order 2019-6. The office will coordinate Michigan’s response to climate change across state departments and agencies, and provide recommendations, guidance and assistance on climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency strategies.

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Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Creating UP Energy Task Force

On Friday, June 7, 2019, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2019-14 creating the UP Energy Task Force. This action comes as the Governor and Enbridge failed to reach an agreeable timeline for the replacement and decommission of the existing Line 5 pipeline. According to the press release, the new task force will assess the UP’s overall energy needs and how they are currently being met; identify and evaluate potential changes in energy supply and distribution; and formulate alternative solutions to meet the UP’s energy needs – including alternatives to the current distribution of propane through Line 5, which poses an unacceptable threat to The Great Lakes. The press release goes on to say “25 percent of UP residents use propane for home heating, and much of that propane is delivered through the Line 5 pipeline. The future of Line 5, however, is uncertain” and adds that “The unacceptable threat posed by the continued operation of the pipelines through the Straits, as well as the lack of an established backup propane distribution system were Line 5 to malfunction, make developing alternative solutions a priority”.

This advisory body to the Governor, within the Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) will be comprised of at least 13 members appointed by the Governor, all of whom must be Michigan residents and possess relevant expertise. The group is tasked with submitting a propane plan in part to the Governor by March 31, 2020 that will focus on alternative means to supply propane in the event of a Line 5 shutdown and submitting a final report by March 31, 2021.

In 2017, an independent study conducted by Dynamic Risk did in fact look at alternative to the Straits pipeline and determined that they were either not feasible, contained higher risk or would require much higher costs. In addition to these conclusions, the study confirmed that the existing pipeline was in excellent condition.

The Governor has yet to make appointments to the new task force.

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Finley: Shut Line 5, and then what?

The Detroit News featured a great Op Ed on Line 5 by Nolan Finley, the paper's editorial page editor on Monday, June 3rd. The article can be found below or on the Detroit News web page 

Nolan Finley, The Detroit News Published 11:00 p.m. ET June 3, 2019 

It sounds like a simple solution: Shut down Enbridge Line 5 and protect the precious Great Lakes from the risk of a devastating oil spill.

It's what everyone with a green conscience wants. And Attorney General Dana Nessel is threatening to do just that by the end of the month if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer can't reach a deal with Enbridge on moving the lines into a tunnel. But then what?

The dual pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac carry 23 million gallons of petroleum products each day between Michigan's two peninsulas. 

Included in that volume is 55 percent of the propane used to heat homes in the state, with much of it going to the Upper Peninsula. Much of the crude oil refined into gasoline also runs through Line 5, as does the petroleum derivatives used in agriculture and manufacturing across the state.

Environmentalists pretend an immediate shutdown of Line 5 will wean Michigan from fossil fuels and deliver with the stroke of a pen its conversion to renewable energy.

That's not going to happen. Petroleum products will be essential for maintaining our quality of life for many decades to come.

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Line 5 and Utility Corridor Update

The existing Line 5 pipeline and proposed utility corridor have been in the news a lot over the last couple of weeks, here’s what you need to know.

The Governor and Enbridge have met several times over the last few weeks in an attempt to find a path forward for Line 5. The negotiations are currently focused on the timeline of the existing pipeline’s closure. Last Thursday, Enbridge announced that barring any permitting delays, it could complete a tunnel to house Line 5 by 2024. This 5-year time frame for construction of the utility corridor is significantly shorter than the 7-10 years originally estimated, but even then, it may not be fast enough for the Governor and Attorney General.

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Michigan Public Service Commission approves changes in requirements for operating gas wells under vacuum

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) last week approved changes in requirements for operating wells in a vacuum. Under the new rules, operators of gas wells in the Antrim Shale development in northern Lower Michigan will be able to monitor and record vacuum pressures of natural gas wells monthly rather than weekly.

In April of 2019, Riverside Energy Michigan LLC filed a motion to amend the October 2015 order in MPSC Case No. U-16230. Among the revisions approved, companies must notify the Commission of the planned installation of equipment to apply a vacuum, rather than the installation for any purpose; report an economic analysis of fuel consumption versus the estimated incremental production in the first 12 months of operations, rather than annually; and submit one report for multiple facilities, rather than individual reports for each field or project. The requirements are amended effective May 23, 2019.

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SPE Distinguished Lecturer Series

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The Northern Michigan Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers will be holding its next evening dinner meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the Cambria Suites in Traverse City.

The speaker for the evening will be SPE Distinguished Lecturer Roberto Aguilera of the Curtin University with his presentation entitled “The Exceptional Price Performance of Oil – Explanations and Prospects”.  Mr. Aguilera will discuss the oil price development over the recent decades as well as the role that oil and gas will continue to play in satisfying world energy demand, with innovation, in spite of low commodity prices.

 The evening will start with a social hour beginning at 6 pm, with dinner to follow at 6:45pm.  An abstract and biography for the presentation is attached, as well as the planned menu for the event.

Cost for the meeting is $40 per person.  Checks should be made payable to Northern Michigan SPE

Please RSVP by emailing your reservation to Bill Quinlan at:billq@jordanex.com

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Michigan Association of Professional Landmen Annual Presidents Meeting

The Michigan Association of Professional Landmen (MAPL) will host its Annual President’s Meeting with Dinner and Cocktails at the Doherty Hotel in Clare, MI on Wednesday June 19th, 2019.  The organization will honor its past presidents and announce the new membership chair. The event will run 6:00-9:00pm and those interested in attending can RSVP online at michiganlandman.com/calendar/. The Doherty Hotel is located at 604 North McEwan, Clare, Michigan, 48617.

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Trendwell Energy River Run Thursday June 20th

Trendwell Energy will host the Annual River Run for a final time on June 20th before passing off the reigns for next year’s event

Trendwell has hosted the Trendwell Energy River Run in conjunction with the MOGA Picnic & Golf for the last several years, carrying on tradition established by T-Rex Resources (Dan McGuire and Bob Butka) in 1992. T-Rex hosted until 2012 and Trendwell took over the tradition in 2013. If your company is interested in hosting the River Run next year and keeping this amazing tradition alive, please reach out to Julie by phone at (616) 866-5024 or by email at Julie.DeJohn@trendwellenergy.com for details.

The River Run is open to all members of MOGA and their support staffs. There is no fee for the event. If you’d like to participate, contact Julie at Julie.DeJohn@trendwellenergy.com to sign up and receive details. Spots are limited, so those interested are encouraged to RSVP a soon as possible. The deadline to sign up will be Friday, May 31st.

Seating is limited, so RSVP as soon as possible.  Please include your t-shirt size. (Adult: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL) when registering for this great event!

Event Details:

What: Trendwell Energy River Run

When: Thursday, June 20, 2019

Where: Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes, 4700 W. Remus Road, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Time: 8:30 a.m. arrival at Buckley’s for a 9:00 a.m. departure down the river.

(We will return to Buckley’s at approximately 12:30/1:00 p.m.) 

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NMC-API Golf Scramble Friday, June 7th

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