State Rep. Beau LaFave today responded to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointments to the newly created UP Energy Task Force, sharply criticizing the board’s slanted make-up.
“I am deeply disappointed, but not surprised, to see that the governor’s ‘UP Energy Task Force’ has been packed with downstate liberals who want to shut down the delivery of affordable propane to the U.P. and turn our home into a wildlife preserve, uninhabitable by humans,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “Seven of the governor’s appointees have never paid an energy bill in the U.P. and I question what they know about the challenges of heating their homes during winter’s deep freezes.”
Studies have determined that 65 percent of the propane that heats homes and businesses in the Upper Peninsula is delivered through Line 5. Alternative transport, such as trucking or rail, would trigger an increase in fuel costs.
“There are four state house districts in the U.P. and, notably, nearly two-thirds of the residents chosen are from the U.P.’s only Democratic district,” LaFave said. “It is quite clear, once again, that pandering to her liberal political base is more important for the governor than protecting the livelihood and well-being of Upper Peninsula families.”
The appointments follow the governor’s announcement last week that she would assemble a closed-door commission to study alternatives to Line 5 – a project, LaFave noted, had already been undertaken in 2017. That study, conducted by Dynamic Risk, evaluated six possible alternatives to the current Line 5 and ultimately concluded that housing the tunnel 100 feet below the floor of the Straits inside a utility tunnel was the safest option.