Current UPEC issues



Here are some of the issues we are currently working on.

Recent Sign-Ons

UPEC is often asked to sign on to letters on a variety of environmental topics. The Board considers each one before deciding whether to sign on. Here are ones we’ve signed on to in recent months.

  • Opposing Trump Administration rollback of National Environmental Policy Act

  • Supporting Paw and Fin Act, to restore provisions of the Endangered Species Act rolled back by Trump Administration

  • Opposing proposed nuclear storage site near Lake Huron

  • Calling on Department of the Interior to suspend public comment periods during the Covid-19 crisis

  • Opposing unconditional bailouts of the aviation industry

  • Urging Congress to consider illegal wildlife trade as root cause of Covid-19

  • Supporting a tax credit for all taxpayers, not just itemizers, in the coronavirus relief bill

  • Requesting extension of public comment periods for all Forest Service projects during Covid-19

  • Urging Congress to increase funding for monarch butterfly conservation

  • Endorsing UP Energy Task Force Committee Recommendations on Propane Supply

  • Requesting that the Office of Management & Budget pause all rulemaking, permitting, and comment periods for oil, gas, and mining for the duration of the COVID-19

  • Opposing bailouts of marginal uranium companies

  • Requesting that Governor Whitmer put the Line 5 permitting process on hold

  • Asking for various clean water priorities in Covid-19 relief packages

  • Opposing Covid-19 relief bills that bail out Big Oil

Select UPEC Position Papers

(list under development)



For over 45 years, UPEC has adopted carefully considered positions on a wide range of environmental issues facing Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Below are links to our latest position papers, as well as a summary of sign-on letters we’ve endorsed recently.

We also post daily to Facebook, so please visit and like the UPEC Facebook page to see issues that concern the Upper Peninsula and the Great Lakes area!

If you know of an issue you think we should also be aware of and haven’t seen us post anything about it, please contact us and let us know.

Position Papers & Comment Letters (to be posted soon)

  • Latest

  • 2018 Year in Review for UPEC issues (Mar 2019)

  • UPEC comment to DEQ Dir on Back 40 mine (Jan 2019)

  • UPEC comment on Proposed Tunnel under the Mackinac bridge (Dec 2018)

  • Sign on to Wildlife Corridor Legislation Dec 2018

  • UPEC position page on Summit Wind Towers

  • UPEC position page on Michigan Senate Bills 652-654

  • Comment Letter on proposal to add mining as a covered sector under FAST-41  (March 2018)

  • Comment Letter on Osisko and Aquila-Resources’-Back-Forty-mining (February 2018)

  • Line 5 Alternatives Analysis

  • Net-Pen Aquaculture in Michigan

  • Sylvania Wilderness bicycle trail

  • Water diversion from the Great Lakes, Waukesha

  • Great Lake Fisheries Research Authorization Act -March 2016 

  • Net Pen Aquaculture Nov 2015

Sign-on Letters

  • Latest

Courtesy National Wildlife Federation

UPEC and FOLK say Enbridge’s Line 5 “a disaster in waiting,”

call for it to be shut down permanently


The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition and Friends of the Land of Keweenaw held a virtual press conference on July 9th to discuss the following joint position statement on Enbridge Line 5.


Enbridge Line 5: A Disaster in Waiting

A Statement from the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition and Friends of the Land of Keweenaw           


The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) and Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) support Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel in their efforts to hold Enbridge responsible for the safety of Line 5. The main purpose of Line 5 is not to supply propane to Michiganders; it is to transport light crude oil and natural gas liquids (propane) to Sarnia, Ontario.  The Governor’s UP Energy Task Force spent a year listening, reviewing and developing viable alternative propane supplies to replace Line 5.  They came up with 14 recommendations that would set up a modified system of obtaining propane from multiple sources for UP residents, especially in the case of unexpected disruptions.  If implemented, the report suggests citizens of the UP would be able to reliably receive propane at reasonable costs and end the need for an ill-planned tunnel project under the Straits of Mackinac. 

Enbridge, a Canadian company, recently revealed that an anchor supporting the east pipeline had shifted, sustaining significant damage. A rupture of the pipeline would have realized our worst fears. 

This fast moving scenario led to a confrontation between Governor Whitmer and Enbridge.  The governor demanded full disclosure and full shutdown of the pipeline.  The company, after partial compliance, restarted pumping through the west line.  Attorney General Nessel stepped in and filed a request for an injunction.  The court ordered all pumping be stopped on Line 5 and Enbridge was to provide all documents related to the damage.  According to media reports, the company complied.  The arguments at the hearing on June 30th revolved around state jurisdiction and restarting pumping on the west line of Line 5.  Judge James Jamo will rule within the next two weeks provided Enbridge can substantiate their safety claim.

Why are we so concerned?  Enbridge is responsible for tens of millions of gallons of oil spills from 1996 through 2014, including the Line 6 rupture in 2010 along the Kalamazoo River. What makes it worse is a culture of manipulation of regulatory and political systems in North America.  As recent news reports show, Line 5 remains in constant danger of being damaged. Assurances by Enbridge and its allies ring hollow, which is why we support the Governor and Attorney General’s actions to protect our Great Lakes and the State's citizens by shutting down Line 5.

© 2020 UPEC