Lily Bohlke /

The Michigan Healthy Climate Roadmap was released this Earth Month that lays out a path for a carbon-neutral state economy by 2050 but some groups argue Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 5 pipeline tunnel is not in line with those goals.

The document highlights state agencies plans to power state-owned buildings and facilities with renewables, reduce energy usage, electrify vehicles and offer more recycling services while calling for action from local governments, businesses and institutions, communities and individual households.

Sean McBrearty with Clean Water Action says the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes a clear case that there's no time to waste. He says "The impacts we're already going to see from climate change are extreme. To avoid the absolute worst impacts of climate change, we need to decarbonize now ".

McBrearty is also with the Oil and Water Don't Mix Coalition, which advocates for shutting down the Line 5 dual pipelines running through the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge Energy says there is currently no alternative to deliver the energy that Line 5 transports, and that it would take significant energy to build infrastructure to do so.

McBrearty noted that experts have testified before the Michigan Public Service Commission that a plan to build a tunnel around the pipeline would add 27 million metric tons of carbon pollution to Michigan's output, and that it's not in line with the state's overall goals set out in the Michigan Healthy Climate roadmap.

McBrearty stated “It makes no sense when we're trying to address the climate crisis to spend any amount of time building an oil tunnel underneath the Great Lakes that's going to add the equivalent of 10 coal-fired power plants to the carbon load already in Michigan".

The roadmap also emphasizes environmental justice principles and highlights the need to increase electric-vehicle adoption, improve public transit, make buildings and homes more energy-efficient, protect land and water, as well as drive innovation and clean-energy jobs.

Photo: National Wildlife Federation.