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UP Energy Task Force hears early findings on Line 5 and propane supply

Kaye LaFond
Interlochen Public Radio
Enbridge Energy's Line 5 runs through the Straits of Mackinac.

The Upper Peninsula Energy Task force met in St. Ignace today to discuss preliminary findings on Line 5 and the Upper Peninsula’s propane supply.

Public Sector Consultants, the firm hired by the state of Michigan, presented ranges of numbers to the task force.

They say if Line 5 was shut down between Superior, Wisconsin and Sarnia, Ontario, it could impact between 65 and 90 percent of the U.P.’s propane supply. 

If propane also stopped coming to Superior by pipeline, up to 99 percent of the supply could be impacted.

The consultants analyzed the possible price increase associated with a number of alternative propane sources. 

Eric Pardini of Public Sector Consultants said their findings are consistent with other analyses.

“At the lowest end you see cost parity,” he said. “In the midrange you see up to 20 cents of cost differential. At the high end you can see up to a 40 to 45 cent difference [per gallon]."

The task force’s final report on propane supply alternatives will have more narrow estimates. It’s due March 31.

Kaye LaFond
Kaye is an alumnus of Michigan Tech's environmental engineering program. She got her start making maps for the Traverse City-Based water news organization Circle of Blue, and, since then, she's been pretty devoted to science communication and data visualization.