Since taking office, President Joe Biden has taken aim at the fossil fuel industry as part of his aggressive climate agenda. The president has revoked the Keystone XL pipeline’s federal permit, ditched an Alaskan drilling project, prohibited new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, introduced sweeping regulations on hydrocarbons and initiated a review of Alaska’s petroleum reserve.
Now, the Biden administration has recently initiated a study of the economic impacts of closing down a key pipeline, Line 5, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Perre confirmed at a press conference on Monday. She added that the Army Corps of Engineers was preparing an environmental impact study on shutting down the pipeline.
President Biden has received significant criticism from many lawmakers, with Representative Bob Latta (R-OH), who wrote, with about another dozen lawmakers, on November 4, saying, “As we enter the winter months and temperatures drop across the Midwest, the termination of Line 5 will undoubtedly further exacerbate shortages and prices 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.”
Line 5 carries about 540,000 barrels of oil and gas per day from Canada to Michigan, according to the pipeline’s operator, Enbridge. The pipeline provides energy to several Midwestern states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
“Line 5 alone accounts for about 55% of Michigan’s propane supply, Enbridge added. Roughly 320,000 Michigan households primarily rely upon propane for their heating needs.”
Jason Hayes, the director of environmental policy for the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy told the Daily Caller, “We should be remembering the people that are going through the upcoming winter months whether it’s in Michigan or other northern states.”
Hayes continued, “We have a state in Michigan that uses the most residential propane in the nation, and yet, we’reseriously considering shutting down this pipeline and giving these people not even two or three month’s notice, just basically saying, well, sorry, you’re on your own.”
Hayes added that it’s extremely poor energy policy to shut down Line 5 and that the move would be dangerous, considering the numbers of people dependent on the pipeline. Overall, closing the pipeline would cause at least $20.8 billion in economic losses to Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, according to a Consumer Energy Alliance study.
In response to Biden’s evident refusal to honor the 1977 pipeline treaty between Canada and the U.S., last month the Canadian government invoked the treaty. The treaty prohibits any action that impedes the transport of hydrocarbons through U.S.-Canada pipelines, including Line 5.
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau said in a statement, “We have also stressed the importance of fully respecting and implementing the international agreements that are in place between our two countries to the highest levels of the U.S. Federal Government.”