Biden Administration Looks to Cancel Line 5 Pipeline. Did He Learn Nothing from Keystone?

Biden Administration Looks to Cancel Line 5 Pipeline. Did He Learn Nothing from Keystone?

November 8, 2021

As we reported last week, the Biden administration is quietly studying the potential market impact of killing the Line 5 Pipeline that runs from Wisconsin refineries through Michigan to Canada. Word of the investigation got out and now immense criticism is coming in from Republicans saying the move would worsen the energy price spike that has already driven propane prices up 50 percent from a year ago just ahead of the winter months.

Politico reports:

“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,” Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and a dozen other congressional lawmakers representing the region said in letter to Biden on Nov. 4.

The administration is also facing immense backlash from Canada who may pursue legal or economic action if the Biden administration takes the drastic step of closing the Line 5 Pipeline. The United States’ relationship with Canada has already taken a hit earlier this year when Biden canceled the much-needed Keystone Pipeline.

The Canadian government is also applying heat. Conservative Party members in the country’s government, already irked by Biden pulling the crucial permit for the Keystone XL pipeline before it could even be built, have said shutting down the Line 5 pipeline would require 2,100 rail cars to deliver the oil from Superior, Wis., to the Imperial Oil refinery in Sarnia, Ontario, just across the U.S. border.

What the Biden administration fails to understand is that canceling these essential energy infrastructure projects doesn’t deplete the demand for the crude oil these pipelines transport. Instead, it increases energy prices, energy demand, and ironically increases the emissions transporting this energy gives off when safe pipeline transport is taken out of the equation.

In a previous study PTF conducted on the impacts of canceling the Keystone Pipeline, we reported on how pipelines have virtually no emissions compared with trucks/trains which would be used to transport oil absent of a pipeline. Pipelines also ensure increased safety with fewer tanks on the road and on rail. Additionally, the Canadian company that operates Line 5 already reached an agreement with the state of Michigan in 2018 to encase Line 5 in a submerged tunnel and invest in comprehensive safety and inspection measures. 

Once again, logic is absent in this administration’s energy policy moves. We hope the Biden administration listens to the concerns of American citizens already facing astronomical energy bills, and learns from their past mistake of canceling the Keystone Pipeline. Americans don’t need even higher household energy bills this winter, or even worse shortages.