Energy Awareness Month: Celebrating the industry that’s built ‘the fabric of American life’

American energy grid at night


October signals the importance energy, Line 5 play in our daily lives

October 13, 2021

When you’re sitting at home this fall, and the weather turns chilly or brisk in Michigan, ever wonder where the energy to heat your house or business comes from?

It’s not magic.

Many people working together, behind the scenes, make it possible for various forms of energy to be delivered affordably and reliably to you.

Sponsored by the U.S. Energy Administration, the national Energy Awareness Month is an annual effort highlighting the importance of energy to America’s energy security and economy. The month was first implemented in 1991 by President George Bush. He encouraged the government and organizations to raise awareness of the importance of sustainably managing the nation’s energy resources. Today, we continue the effort to look for ways to optimize energy resilience and security by using advanced and distributed energy technologies.

Energy infrastructure is a lifeline for U.S.

Beyond lighting, heating and cooling homes and buildings, electricity helps promote health by powering emergency response and modern medical care in hospitals. Natural gas also heats homes, businesses, schools and hospitals, and its byproducts help make possible everything from cars to coats to medicine and food.

“The fabric of American life relies on energy in one form or another,” said Mike Moeller, Enbridge’s director of the Great Lakes Region. “The light crude oil and natural gas liquids transported each day by Enbridge’s Line 5, for instance, are essential to the region. Area refineries rely on product from Line 5 to produce the transportation fuel that helps keep us and our economy on the move.  Manufacturers rely on it to produce thousands of items, including those essential to renewable energy, such as wind turbines and solar panels.”

Moeller notes that while 65 percent of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula relies on Line 5 for the propane as the primary source for heat and cooking fuel, Line 5 is central to many other things throughout the region.

“In the name of October as Energy Awareness Month, I challenge readers to think,” encourages Moeller, “what life would be without our phones, vehicles, backpacks, hiking boots, televisions, microwaves, eyeglasses, anti-perspirant, medicines and inhalers? Line 5 helps make each of these possible. Along with the daily items, the jobs, tax revenue and its role in the supply chain make Line 5 a vital part of America’s energy security and economy.”

As part of Enbridge’s efforts to maintain a consistent supply of energy at a sustainable price, Line 5 transports safely each day natural gas liquids, along with light crude oil. Area refineries in Michigan and four other states, as well as Canada’s two largest provinces, depend on the light crude oil to create the transportation fuel for ground and air transport that keep the supply chain moving. The company’s commitment to America’s energy security also extends to its investment in renewable sources.

“We have several wind, solar, geothermal and waste-heat recovery facilities either in operation or under construction,” explains Moeller. “Combined, our renewable capacity could meet the electricity consumption needs for a city about the size of San Francisco.”

Sustaining a safe pipeline network

Enbridge also is advancing measures that will help ensure Michiganders can continue to depend on a safe, reliable energy network.

In particular, Enbridge is funding the Great Lakes Tunnel. Placed deep below the lakebed in the Straits, the Great Lakes Tunnel will encase in concrete a replacement section of Line 5, eliminating the risk of an anchor strike to the pipeline or a leak from it into the Straits.