Biden administration considers closing Michigan pipeline to Canada

The Donlon Report

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The Biden administration is considering closing Enbridge Energy’s Line 5, an oil and gas pipeline that runs through western Canada and serves the Midwest. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has demanded the closure of the pipeline because of the potential for a catastrophic rupture along a 4-mile-long section in the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Enbridge has sued to keep it open. 

Scott Hayes, Toledo Refining Company’s governmental affairs manager, is against the shutdown. He believes a shutdown could cost tens of thousands of jobs.

“The administration does not want to lose more good-paying union jobs,” Hayes said on NewsNation’s “The Donlon Report.” “They cannot want to disrupt complex supply chains that deliver the chemicals that we make at our refinery to chemical manufacturers, which is the third-largest industry in Ohio.” 

Haynes said the pipeline supplies about 40% of the oil used in the Midwest region. Shutting down Line 5 would be a devastating blow to the region because there would be no way to replace that type of system, he added.

“We’re at a disadvantage in the Midwest because we don’t have access to the coast. We don’t have access to world markets. Closing that line is a very, very big mistake.” 

Hayes also said the closure could cause fuel shortages and further raise the price of gasoline. 

“I think you would see sustained high prices for heating fuels, I believe that you would have the price of everything goes up, ” said Haynes. “Not only when the price of transportation, does the price of everything else goes up, but it’s correlated to inflation.”

Canada last month invoked a 1977 treaty that guarantees the unimpeded transit of oil between the two nations.

On Monday, White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing an environmental impact statement on Enbridge’s proposal to run a replacement segment through a tunnel that would be drilled beneath the straits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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