On Wednesday, Jul 17th, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her appointment of Tremaine Phillips to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). Phillips will replace Norm Saari who was appointed by Snyder in 2015. Saari's term came to a close July 2nd, 2019. Phillips term will run through July 2, 2025, once confirmed by the State Senate. Termaine Phillips is now the second appointment to the MPSC made by Gov. Whitmer, after the Governor appointed Dan Scripps in February of 2019.
Phillips is currently the director of the Cincinnati 2030 District and the former vice president of strategic initiatives for Empower Gas and Electric, LLC, according to the Governor's office. He formerly served as the assistant deputy director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, as well as in an energy program association with the Michigan Environmental Council, and as an intern with the White House Council on Environmental Quality.He earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy from Michigan State University, and his Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management and Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University.
"Tremaine’s experience ranges from the utility sector, state government and clean energy advocacy," the Governor said. "His diverse background will give him the knowledge and insight to be successful in his new role and is supported by a broad array of stakeholders from environmental groups to business organizations."
In a joint statement, state Reps. Brian Elder, D-Bay City; Tenisha Yancey, D-Harper Woods; Wendell Byrd, D-Detroit; John Chirkun, D-Roseville; Terry Sabo, D-Muskegon; and Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, said they were “deeply disappointed” by the AG's legal action against Line 5, adding the legal battle “guarantees the status quo.”
Stop the Line 5 law suit and start the Tunnel.
A Joint statement by members of the Michigan Legislature
LANSING — Public Act 359 of 2018 passed the Michigan Legislature last December creating the
Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority to oversee the construction and management of a utility tunnel
to modernize the oil and gas pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac and house Enbridge Energy’s
Line 5. Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit to terminate the operation of the existing
pipeline. In response, the undersigned members of the Michigan Legislature issued the following
We, the undersigned, are deeply disappointed in Attorney General Dana Nessel’s action in initiating
a lawsuit to end the operation of Line 5, with no alternative, after the issue had been resolved
through an appropriate compromise.
Public Act 359 of 2018, passed by the Michigan Legislature last December and signed into law,
tasked the newly founded Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority with overseeing construction and
management of a utility tunnel to modernize the passage of oil and gas. The concrete-walled tunnel
is to be placed approximately 100 feet below the lake bed, reducing the risk of a spill in
the Straits to zero. Enbridge would pay for the construction and operation of the
tunnel. This law solved a problem, through a reasonable compromise, created jobs and
actually shut down the existing Line 5.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit actually guarantees the status quo. This lawsuit will create a
lengthy, expensive legal battle that could take a decade or more to decide, all the while leaving
an aging pipeline lying on the bed of the Straits of Mackinac, until all possible appeals are
Line 5 continues to be a critical source of 540,000 barrels per day of propane and crude oil supply
for Michigan and surrounding areas that make up the regional supply network for the State,
producing transportation fuels and consumer goods, ranging from computers to clothing and
cellphones. Michiganders heat their homes from the products of this energy source.
Our natural resources and our economy are too important to await the outcome of protracted litigation. We need to start the Line 5 Tunnel now.
ADVANCED WORKING INTEREST and NET REVENUE INTEREST CALCULATION WORKSHOP
AUGUST 27, 2019 | MT. PLEASANT, MI
SPEAKER | DOUGLAS M. POTTER, CPL
Learn more and register at www.landman.org/education.
The concepts presented in this workshop build upon the foundational material found in the Working Interest and Net Revenue Calculation Workshop. Any Land Professional choosing to participate in Complex Calculations For Land Professionals without being proficient in the foundational materials may not comprehend the concepts, procedures and “Tricks-of-the-Trade” presented in this workshop. This workshop teaches advanced skills for Working Interest [WI] and Net Revenue Interest [NRI] calculations. Instruction is limited to NRI and WI calculations which may be found in leases, assignments, operating agreements and associated documents.
Accredited for 6 continuing education credits.
The Highland Eagle, takes flight, or rather sets sail, to the Straits of Mackinac. This vessel is a specially designed ship brought in from Europe to conduct the drilling of sediment and rock samples at the deepest points of the Straits. It will begin this important drilling by the end of the month and is expected to be positioned in the Straits for several months as part of the $40 million pre-tunnel geotechnical work.
In a recent opinion piece featured in the Detroit News, Jay Lehr, Ph.D., a senior policy analyst with the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) details the many hidden benefits and advantages of oil and gas that few ever consider. From efficient transport to electrical production to the numerous petroleum derived products, oil and gas have transformed our lives.
Speaking at the America First Energy Conference in Houston in November 2017, Roger H. Bezdek, of Management Information Services, Inc., summed up:
“What have fossil fuels done for us recently? They are the foundation of our current economy. They created (and sustained) the modern world. They permit the current high quality of life we all enjoy. Over the past two centuries life expectancy has more than doubled, populations increased eightfold, real incomes have increased worldwide more than eleven-fold.”
"If you think life was great in 1860 — a time without electricity, airline travel, widespread internal combustion engines, refrigeration, air conditioning, cell phones, Internet and computers — then, yes, stop using fossil fuels. But don’t impose your standards on the rest of us."
The BADDC will be hosting the 19th Annual Oilfield Golf Classic on Friday, August 16, 2019 at the Gaylord Golf Club. The cost to attend is $70/person or $280 for a foursome which includes lunch and door prizes. Hole sponsorships are available at $200 and non-golfers may purchase lunch tickets for $15. To reserve your spot or sponsor a hole, send payment to Bay Area Desk & Derrick c/o Mosbacher Energy Company, PO Box 395, Grawn, MI 49637 or call Kathy Bickel, (231) 645-6476 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General, Three members of the Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to Governor Whitmer urging her to reach a compromise to keep Line 5 open and operational while plans for a new tunnel continue.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, Senator Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, and Senator Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, issued the following joint statement:
“The Attorney General is slowing progress on a tunnel – not a penny of which will be paid for by taxpayers – that will ensure the continued safety of a vital energy conduit. If she has her way, Michiganders will pay significantly more for gas at the pump and for propane to heat their homes. And she will put at risk thousands of jobs that are directly related to the line, and thousands more that would be created by the tunnel project. Her actions today are ill-advised and dangerous.”
To coincide with the legal actions, Nessel released a video statement that can be found here.
We will keep you updated as this continues to develop.
An editorial from Chad Livengood featured in Crain's Detroit Business News takes a closer look at the negative impacts a permanent shutdown of Line 5 could have on not only Michigan, but Canada and surrounding states as well.
"A permanent shutdown of Enbridge Energy Co.'s Line 5 oil pipeline could have a major downstream impact on trade with Canada, energy supplies for multiple states and the price of jet fuel for airplanes at Detroit Metro Airport and residential propane in the Lower Peninsula."
Enbridge will continue with rock and soil sampling in the Straits this week as it moves its previously land based sampling operation onto the water. 6-inch-diameter holes will be drilled up to 150 feet into the lakebed to determine the best place for the tunnel.The geotechnical work is part of a $40 million investment into pre-construction work and will help to keep the tunnel construction on the proposed timeline. Once the results of the geotechnical studies are in, tunnel design work can begin as early as 2020.