UPEC Livestreams: Keeping you connected with the UP environment

Our three series of livestreams, co-hosted by Board President Horst Schmidt and Vice President Evan Zimmermann, keep you up-to-date with environmental issues facing the Upper Peninsula.

  • “This Is It!”: The latest on important UP environmental concerns

  • “The Energy Show”: Current issues and future transformations in how the UP gets and uses energy

  • “Let’s Talk”: Building sustainable communities in the UP

You can view recordings of the livestreams anytime on the UPEC YouTube channel.

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With panelists Edward E. Timm, Skip Pruss, Ian Bund, and Bryan Newland, followed by an interactive conversation


It is becoming more clear every day there are large gaps in what we know about Line 5, the oil pipeline that traverses the Upper Peninsula and crosses the Straits of Mackinac. On Thursday, August 20, we rebroadcasted parts of a new video from the nonprofit group For Love of Water (FLOW) called “Securing a Brighter Future Without Line 5 or an Oil Tunnel.” Four speakers — an engineer, a lawyer and former state administrator, a venture capitalist, and a tribal chairman — talked about the many liabilities of Line 5 and its owner, the Canadian corporation Enbridge. The panelists are:

  • Dr. Edward E. Timm, PhD, PE, Retired Senior Scientist, Dow Chemical Company

  • Stanley “Skip” Pruss, former Director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth and former Chief Energy Officer for Michigan

  • Ian Bund, Senior Advisor, Plymouth Growth

  • Bryan Newland, Chairman of the Bay Mills Indian Community

We’ll then built on their presentations with more information and discussion. The more we get into the Line 5 issue, the more complications keep tumbling out. For Enbridge it is an effort to keep the pipeline open at any cost. For the people of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario, these are our waters, our lives.


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More resources

• Slide show prepared by UPEC summarizing main points of panelists, plus actions you can take (PDF document)


Resources from FLOW’s “Securing a Brighter Future” webinar

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Mike Furmanski, the superintendent of Escanaba’s electric utility, explains the ins and outs of running the City of Escanaba’s utility, and the different types of utilities—investor owned, cooperatives, municipal—and the bulk power transmission system in Michigan, called MISO, plus other networks that allow us to receive seamless electrical service to our homes.


The second part of this episode of The Energy Show is “Bone of Contention: Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.” Your UPEC hosts, Horst Schmidt and Evan Zimmermann, wind through the current legal wrangles between the State of Michigan and Enbridge, the pipeline owner.


This UPEC “This Is It!” livestream featured Professor Chelsea Schelly of Michigan Technological University, who discussed intentional communities — planned residential living communities designed to have a high degree of social cohesion and collaboration through shared technologies, economies, and activities of daily life.  Several intentional communities were offered as examples of the diversity of forms they can take.

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