The oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac has become a key election issue in northern Michigan this year. Candidates for Michigan’s 101st state House spoke about it at a debate in Glen Arbor Thursday night.
Republican Curt Vanderwall says the pipeline provides economic stability.
“We need to make sure that we understand that there’s 250 high paying jobs in those communities throughout the whole line from the tip to the bottom that are in this state,” said Vanderwall.
Vanderwall’s opponent, Democrat Dan Scripps, took a firm stance on shutting down Line 5.
"We cannot continue to roll the dice with a 63-year-old pipeline that could devastate our economy and our way of life, if, and when it ruptures," said Scripps.
The 101st district includes Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, and Mason Counties. It’s an open seat this year. Incumbent Republican Ray Franz has reached his term limit.
You can listen to the full debate here.