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Whitmer shouldn't shut down Line 5

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer promised “transparency” and being more “open” with voters when she took office. With her recent announcement that she will reopen talks on Line 5, she can fulfill this promise by correcting a knee-jerk reaction to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s legally questionable opinion, which ignored existing law and ordered state agencies to halt all work on the proposed Line 5 tunnel improvements.

A 2017 state-commissioned, independent, science-based analysis said the Line 5 improvements, with its state-of-the-art, environmental controls, is needed for transporting the energy Michiganians use daily. Upgrading Line 5 by placing it in a utility tunnel would make it one of the most environmentally-sound water crossings in the country.

More than just protecting the Great Lakes and employing thousands of Michigan laborers, the Line 5 improvements would also help keep energy affordable at a time when oil and gasoline prices are rising.

Increasing the price of gas and propane, while troublesome for most, is difficult for those living paycheck to paycheck who cannot afford an extra $15 or $20 every time to fill up on gas.

Should this one pipeline shut down, motorists would pay over $121 million more per year for fuel, according to the state-commissioned report — a hefty cost for Michigan families who have a median income below the national average.

Chris Ventura

Michigan director

Consumer Energy Alliance

Notre Dame fire recalls ND University fire

The tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that destroyed the roof and gutted the historic building calls to mind an eerily similar blaze here in America more than a century ago.

In the 1800s, Holy Cross Father Edward Sorin set out to establish an educational institution that would educate young students and serve as a beacon for the Catholic faith in the Indiana frontier. He called the little school in South Bend Notre Dame du Lac.

Up until 1879, virtually the entire operations of the young school took place inside what was known as the Main Building. It contained all the classrooms on campus, as well as the dormitories and study halls.

In April of 1879, a fire broke out on the building. Ironically, some speculation is that the fire at Notre Dame began because of repairs that were being done on the roof of the Main Building. It’s thought that the dry timbers contributed to the fast-spreading blaze.

Within three hours, the Main Building — in effect, the entire college enterprise – was destroyed.

Father Sorin’s response was immediate and to the point. “I came here as a young man and dreamed of building a great university in honor of Our Lady,” he said. “But I built it too small, and she had to burn it to the ground to make the point. So, tomorrow, as soon as the bricks cool, we will rebuild it, bigger and better than ever.”

You know the rest of the story. Notre Dame’s Main Building, topped by the famous Golden Dome and the statue of Our Lady, was rebuilt, bigger and better than ever.

Today, the University of Notre Dame is arguably the greatest institution of Catholic higher learning in the world. As the late President Father Ted Hesburgh liked to say, Notre Dame is where the Catholic Church does its thinking.

So there’s no question the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris will be rebuilt. The more fascinating question is this: will the rebuilding contribute to a rebirth of Catholicism in France? If not, more than just the roof will have been lost.

Rusty Hills

East Lansing

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