Task force aims to improve energy reliability, affordability in U.P.

Jun 14, 2019

MARQUETTE, MI--   The newly created U.P. Energy Task Force will first focus on different methods of providing propane to Upper Peninsula residents. 

That’s according to Liesl Clark, Director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. She says a quarter of Upper Peninsula residents heat their homes with propane, and officials want to know how a disruption in delivery would affect the region.

Clark says that takes into account the possible decommissioning of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.

“I think that’s a possibility. I think that’s the first one that of course comes to mind when you think about, you know, what could disrupt propane distribution across the Upper Peninsula,” she says.

Line 5 delivers most of the propane U.P. residents use.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has halted a plan to house a section of Line 5 in a tunnel under the Straits. Enbridge says it had an agreement with the Snyder administration to proceed.

Clark notes the task force will also look at ways to make energy more affordable in the region. She says the region has some of the highest energy costs in the nation.

“The spread-out nature of the geography, coupled with the lower population density means that you need a lot of infrastructure, so there’s a need to support that infrastructure. And then, you know, it always costs a little bit more to get things kind of to that last mile,” she says. 

Clark says information on who will comprise the task force will soon be released.