Michigan task force to evaluate Upper Peninsula energy needs

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is establishing a task force to assess energy needs in the state’s Upper Peninsula.

Among its top priorities will be finding a way to distribute propane across the far-flung region without utilizing Enbridge’s Inc.’s Line 5 oil pipeline, the focus of a dispute between Whitmer and the Canadian company.

They’re arguing over a proposal to dig a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac to replace an underwater segment of Line 5, which the Democratic governor says poses an “unacceptable risk” of an oil spill.

About 25 percent of U.P. residents heat their homes with propane, much of which comes from the pipeline.

Whitmer says the task force will examine alternatives to Line 5 fuels in addition to how the peninsula’s overall energy needs are being met.

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