The Biden administration is reviewing the possibility of closing down a key pipeline transporting crude oil and natural gas from Canada into the Midwest.
The White House recently initiated a study of the economic impacts of closing the Line 5 pipeline, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed at a press conference Monday, adding that the Army Corps of Engineers was planning an environmental impact study on the ramifications of shutting down the pipeline.
President Joe Biden faced serious criticism last week after Politico reported his administration’s decision to study Line 5.
“As we enter the winter months and temperatures drop across the Midwest, the termination of Line 5 will undoubtedly further exacerbate shortages and price increases in home heating fuels like natural gas and propane at a time when Americans are already facing rapidly rising energy prices, steep home heating costs, global supply shortages, and skyrocketing gas prices,” Republican Ohio Rep. Bob Latta wrote in a Nov. 4 letter mirroring a dozen other lawmakers.
Line 5 carries about 540,000 barrels of oil and gas per day from Canada to Michigan, according to the pipeline’s operator, Enbridge, providing energy to several Midwestern states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
Line 5 alone accounts for about 55% of Michigan’s propane supply. Roughly 320,000 Michigan households rely on propane for their main heat source.
“We should be remembering the people that are going to be going through the upcoming winter months whether it’s in Michigan or other northern states,” Jason Hayes, the director of environmental policy for the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said.
“We have a state in Michigan that uses the most residential propane in the nation,” he continued. “And yet, we’re seriously considering shutting down this pipeline and giving these people not even two or three months notice, just basically saying, ‘well, sorry, you’re gonna be on your own.'”
Since taking office, Biden has targeted the fossil fuel industry as part of his aggressive climate agenda. The president revoked the Keystone XL pipeline’s federal permit, did away with an Alaskan drilling project, put a stop to new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, presented sweeping regulations regarding hydrocarbons and instituted a review of Alaska’s petroleum reserve.
“Gretchen Whitmer and the Biden administration are making it unaffordable for Michigan families to fill their gas tanks and heat their homes,” Eric Ventimiglia, executive director of the conservative group Michigan Rising Action, said in a statement Monday. “The effort to shut down Line 5 is short-sighted, and would put immense financial pressure on families across the state.”
“Shutting down Line 5 would create a humanitarian crisis and exacerbate the dire economic conditions created by the Democrats’ failed policies,” he continued.