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MEC connects WMU students, state lawmakers on Mackinac Straits oil pipeline issue

Feb 27, 2014
Dozens of Western Michigan University (WMU) students descended on the State Capitol and the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) office Wednesday, asking state legislators to address Enbridge Energy Company’s aging oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

They weren’t protesting. They were learning the legislative process with the help of MEC staffers as part of a cooperative venture between MEC and the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program at WMU.

The lobbyists-in-training met with legislators from their home districts, explaining the risks the pipeline presents and suggesting legislative action to address the issue. Students asked the lawmakers to pressure federal regulators to require Enbridge to replace the pipeline, or, failing that, to consider working to move the pipeline from federal to state jurisdiction.

The students reported that several legislators seemed supportive, a few seemed skeptical, and others were unaware that the pipeline even existed beneath the Mighty Mac.

It is the second year of the cooperative program between MEC and WMU.
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