Senator Debbie Stabenow Takes On Kid Rock and Michigan Pipeline On The Same Day

Senator Debbie Stabenow addressed two possible threats to the state of Michigan last Wednesday, July 12 - and only one of them was Kid Rock.

The same day the singer formerly known as Robert James Ritchie announced his intention to unseat Stabenow in the 2018 election, Stabenow and her fellow Michigan senator Gary Peters sent a letter to the acting chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission raising concerns about the construction of Energy Transfer Partners' (ETP) Rover pipeline, a 713-mile natural gas pipeline set to run through the state this fall.

The two democratic senators are calling on a pause in construction on a segment of the pipeline near Pinckney, a small town in Michigan's southeast, and a reexamination of the route.

"[The] final route that was selected will result in a high-pressure natural gas pipeline running less than 300 feet from a YMCA campground for children," the senators wrote. "In addition, the approved route will encircle 90 neighboring homes and pass under what we understand to be the only three roads available for evacuation and access by emergency responders in the event of a pipeline explosion."

Colette Breshears, a Genscape natural gas analyst who has been tracking Rover's progress, said a pause in construction on this particular segment would not necessarily delay the pipeline's overall construction schedule. That said, she noted that a decision by FERC to accede to the senators' requests could add additional costs.

"It may be difficult to 'skip' this section and come back at a later time due to the logistics needed for pipe and heavy machine delivery which could introduce additional cost and delay if the current construction schedule does not allow enough buffer time," Breshears said in an email.

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