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Advocates push for Line 5 pipeline during stop in Wausau

People sign a 34-foot-long segment of pipeline in support of the Enbridge Line 5 relocation project.
Katie Thoresen
People sign a 34-foot-long segment of pipeline in support of the Enbridge Line 5 relocation project.

Advocates for the Line 5 pipeline relocation project made a stop in Wausau Wednesday afternoon.

Line 5 is a propane pipeline proposed to go through Ashland, Iron, and Bayfield counties.

People with the Wisconsin Jobs and Energy Coalition brought an example of a pipe that would be used in the project and invited people to sign their name on it.

Several speakers offered their perspectives, and many said the construction process is safe and shutting off Line 5 would have an adverse effect on gas prices.

"Without pipelines, we would have to move fuel through trucks or trains and certainly we'd move some fuel that way but imagine how many more trucks, how many more trains we'd have to have if we didn't have these pipelines in the state of Wisconsin," said Mark Graul with the Wisconsin Jobs and Energy Coalition.

Stefanie Tsosie, a senior attorney with EarthJustice, an environmental activist group against project, disagrees, claiming gas prices may only go up as much as one cent and that Wisconsin's economy will not see much of a gain.

"It's a Canadian project, it's a Canadian pipeline and it's benefitting Canadians and I do think that in order to protect Wisconsin, Line 5 needs to be shut down," Tsosie said.

She also says the possibility of the pipeline rupturing is strong, and Enbridge, another group behind the pipeline proposal, is not doing enough to ensure the project is safe from those concerns.

There are still multiple conversations to be had at the state level involving permits and potential re-routing before anything can be finalized.

Other similar events were scheduled to be held in Superior, Ashland, and Minocqua this week.

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