Representatives of several business groups say twin oil pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac are a safe and necessary means of providing energy for Michigan's economy.
The groups defended Enbridge Inc.'s Line 5 in a conference call with reporters Monday ahead of public feedback sessions on a consultant's report that listed alternatives for dealing with the pipelines.
The sessions are taking place Monday in Holt and Traverse City and Tuesday in St. Ignace.
Mark Griffin of the Michigan Petroleum Association said decommissioning Line 5 would require transporting its oil another way. He said that could mean thousands more trucks hauling oil on the highways, a greater danger for the public and the environment.
Other business representatives said thousands of jobs and crucial fuel supplies depend on Line 5's continued operation.
Critics say Line 5 threatens the Great Lakes and should be shut down.
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