“It’s a when, not if,” said Linda Frank, of Shorewood.
Opponents also pointed to the role fossil fuels play in global warming, which has been blamed for increasingly frequent flooding and severe storms.
“This is the dying gasp of an industry that’s had a stranglehold on our culture for a long time,” said Christopher LaForge, of Port Wing. “It’s long past the time we allow companies from Canada to exploit our land.”
The company says the line, which transports an average of 540,000 barrels a day between Superior and southwestern Ontario, is a key piece of energy infrastructure. Enbridge notes the Wisconsin portion of the line hasn’t had a spill in 15 years.
According to Enbridge, the line delivers liquified natural gas to a Plains Midstream Canada terminal in Rapid River, Michigan, that supplies propane to dealers in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Only a handful of people, including several trade union representatives, spoke in favor of the project, which Enbridge said will support 700 jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity.
“No one does it better than Enbridge and the contractors who work for Enbridge,” said Derek Pederson, a representative of Building & General Laborers’ Local Union No. 1091 who has worked on the line.