Legislative Spotlight: Representative Triston Cole

Majority Floor Leader, State Representative Triston Cole, has served Michigan’s 105th House District since the beginning of 2015 and is now in his final term. The state’s 105th District encompasses Antrim, Charlevoix, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Otsego counties.


As the Majority Floor Leader, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the House floor activities and helps decide which proposals are considered by legislators. In addition to his leadership role, Cole is vice chair of the Government Operations Committee and serves on the House Fiscal Governing Committee, and Transportation Committees. He also chairs the House’s Northern Caucus, a collection of legislative leaders from northern Michigan. The House’s top leaders, the Speaker of the House, Representative Lee Chatfield and Speaker Pro-Tempore, Representative Jason Wentworth are also members of the Northern Caucus.

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Otsego County Board of Commissioners Joined Others in Passing a Resolution in Support of the Tunnel Solution

Otsego County has become the 12th county to pass a resolution in support of the tunnel project. The Otsego County Board unanimously approved the resolution on October 22nd. Otsego joins Baraga, Cheybogan, Delta, Dickinsion,Gogebic, Grand Traverse Houghton, Iron, Mackinac, Marquette, and Ontonagon in support of the tunnel project. 

Although the counties do not have jurisdiction over the tunnel project, the resolutions indicate that these local leaders understand the importance of the tunnel to their residents. Whether it’s the taxes into the local economy, the good paying jobs the project will provide, or the much needed energy supply, the tunnel solution provides certainty that a vital, safe and well-maintained piece of transportation infrastructure will continue to support Michigan communities, while safeguarding our state’s waters. Michigan businesses and residents depend on the certainty the tunnel will provide, with the safe, continued operation of the pipeline.

When asked by the media, Otsego County Commissioner Rob Pallarito said the board is confident in the tunnel as a solution and reiterated that “They’re going to take this line and put it in a concrete tunnel, 100 feet below the Straits and eliminate any boat anchor strikes”. 

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Additional Safety and Monitoring Measures Coming to Line 5 in the Straits

Enbridge is currently awaiting federal approval from the Coast Guard and Federal Communications Commission to install a new warning system in the Straits that will notify ships of the U.S. Coast Guard’s no-anchor zone. 

They will also adding two vessels to monitor ship movements in the Straits, and in early 2020 will install 24/7 high resolution cameras on each side of the straits to deter further anchor strikes. 

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Enbridge Wins Suit Challenging Whitmer Blocking Of Line 5 Tunnel

Did legislators know what they were voting on in 2018 when they passed Public Act 359,  the law that created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority and lead to the the Authority's approval of the tunnel agreement?

 The courts say yes.

Michigan Court of Claims judge, Michael Kelly ruled this week that Public Act 359 is constitutional. The ruling paves the way for the tunnel project to proceed, though Attorney General Dana Nessel has vowed to appeal the ruling.

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Updates to Oil and Gas Operations rules finalized, moving state one step closer to UIC primacy

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division (OGMD) has announced that an update to the Oil and Gas Operations administrative rules under Part 615 became effective Oct. 18, 2019.

According to OGMD Permitting and Technical Services Section Manager Mark Snow, the changes contained in what is known as the 2019-01 Oil and Gas Operations rule set were proposed and carried out in order to better align Michigan’s program for protecting underground sources of drinking water (USDW) with federal standards for the pursuit of Class II UIC well primacy.

This rules package will ensure that the State of Michigan has an equally effective program for protecting USDW compared to the federal program by expanding and strengthening the definition of USDW. Under the new rule set, fresh water is defined as water containing less than 1,000 milligrams per liter of total dissolved solids (R 324.102). Mineral water is defined as water that contains 1,000 milligrams per liter or more of total dissolved solids (R 324.103). Both are protected under the updated rules.

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New "EGLE Explains" Video Series Released

EGLE_Logo_652843_7.pngThe Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has released a new video, developed by the Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division, explaining oil and gas wells in Michigan and how EGLE regulates them!

Click Here to Watch 

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Legislative Spotlight: Senator Curt VanderWall ( R MI 35)

Senator Curt VanderWall was elected to the State Senate In November of 2018, after serving 2 years as a State Representative for Michigan’s 101st House District. He now proudly represents the residents of Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon and Wexford Counties.

*Follow the links for fact sheets on the positive impact our industry has in each county.

In his first term, Senator VanderWall chairs the Health Policy and Human Services Committee and serves as vice chair of the Economic and Small Business Development Committee and the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.


Additional Committees the Senator serves on include;

  • Elections
  • Environmental Quality
  • Finance
  • Regulatory Reform.

Throughout his legislative tenure, the Senator has been a strong supporter of Michigan’s oil and gas industry in addition to being a vocal advocate for Michigan’s critical energy infrastructure. Time and time again, he’s spoken on the important role that Line 5 plays in providing Northern Michigan residents with propane to heat their homes and has supported additional safety measures to protect our state’s precious natural resources.

Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund Projects in each County: Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon and Wexford Counties.

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Opinion: The Mackinac Straits Tunnel Means Safety and Jobs

" Sometimes it may feel like you only have two choices: protect our environment or keep monthly heat bills affordable. But there is a way to protect both Michigan’s environment and your family budget". Former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette

Countless businesses, associations, trade groups, legislators, and local leaders have spoken out in support of the tunnel solution as a way to protect our waters and provide the secure, reliable energy our state needs. An early advocate for the tunnel solution, former AG Bill Schuette has been featured in a guest column in the Marquette Mining Journal, where he speaks on the benefits the tunnel would provide Michiganders. In the opinion piece, Schuette urges lawmakers to come together to make the right decision and take action to build the pipeline for Michigan's economic and energy future. 

To read the article, Click Here for the Marquette Mining Journal  

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Opinion: Michigan Needs Line 5 and The Construction Jobs a Tunnel Would Provide

In a recent guest article in The Detroit News, former Attorney General Mike Cox argues the economic need for protecting and promoting Michigan's critical energy infrastructure. Mike Cox served as Michigan's 52nd Attorney General from 2003-2011 while Jennifer Granholm was Governor. 

"Michigan families need constant, reliable and affordable sources of energy. Those in charge of our state should focus on the economic and energy needs of Michigan families and allow the Line 5 modernization to continue moving our infrastructure forward. Doing so will only help our economy and taxpayers well into the future" 

He also references the important role Michigan's Oil and Gas industry plays in the state, supporting good paying jobs across multiple sectors of the economy. 

"Either directly or indirectly, the oil and natural gas industry in Michigan supports thousands of jobs (and family paychecks) across multiple sectors of the economy". -Mike Cox 

Visit The Detroit Free Press to see the full article

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Michigan is Expected to see a 6% Increase in Energy Related Jobs Over the Next 7 Years

According to a new study published by the State's Department of Technology, Management and Budget and Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Michigan's energy workforce is projected to increase by 6% between 2019 and 2026.

Key Findings of the Energy Cluster Workforce Analysis include;

-Michigan's energy sector is reliant on a wide educational array of occupations, but it is possible to earn high wages at all levels. 

-Wages in energy jobs have grown rapidly since 2000 and have well out-paced statewide wage growth. 

-The Energy cluster includes jobs in energy efficiency,  utilities, wholesale, oil and gas exploration, extraction, and wholesaling as well as electric manufacturing. Although it makes up only about 2.5% if Michigan's total employment, the impact of the products and services produced by the energy cluster reach throughout the entire economy. 

According to the study, oil and gas exploration, extraction, and wholesaling account for 9,017 Michigan Jobs. These include jobs in fields like,  

  • Oil and Gas Extraction
  • Pipeline Transportation
  • Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals
  • Petroleum and Petroleum Products Wholesalers
  • Drilling Oil and Gas Wells
  • Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations
  • Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction
  • Petroleum Refineries
  • Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services

it does not account for financial and legal services or other support activities for oil and gas operations. From the Michigan Oil and Natural Gas Industry Economic Contribution Study, prepared for MOGA, direct employment in our industry was closer to 22,781 statewide. 

The Study concludes that " The Energy cluster accounts for a small percent of Michigan’s total employment, but the goods and services provided are
essential to the entire population and economy. The cluster shrank from a peak in the early 2000s, but since the end of the most
recent recession it has seen some rebound. The cluster has also seen growth in industry classifications as the Energy-related
industries connected to things such as renewable energy or natural gas continue to grow and become clearly distinct enterprises.
Many occupations in the cluster are reliant on middle tier education and training, and finding new employees will be dependent
on students completing associated programs." 

Click Here to See the Full Study 

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Michigan Petroleum Directory Now Available!