With winter approaching, Whitmer and Nessel push to close Line 5 pipeline
Michigan energy prices have jumped 50% in the last year. Closing this key pipeline could add fuel to the fire.
Gov. Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel have both vowed to do everything in their power to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5.
Line 5 is the Michigan pipeline that transports up to 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids that are refined into propane, and then consumed by Michigan families to heat their homes.
Shutting down Line 5 was a campaign promise of both Whitmer and Nessel, but since taking office, energy prices in the United States and internationally have skyrocketed.
The World Bank estimates supply constraints and demand surges could cause energy prices to rise as high as 80% above average. Michigan has already seen an almost 50% increase from last year, and shutting down Line 5 could add fuel to the fire.
That’s because Michigan uses more propane than any other state. Line 5, specifically, provides propane to 65% of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and 55% of the entire state.
According to the Consumer Energy Alliance, closing down Line 5 would cost Michigan $3 billion in economic activity, $1 billion in gross state product, and 6,692 jobs. What’s more, the closure would become yet another supply chain disruption – siphoning extra costs to Michigan families, farmers and small businesses.
In 2020, Whitmer gave Enbridge a May 12, 2021, deadline to shut down the pipeline. Enbridge has not obeyed, and officials have expressed they won’t until a court order prevails. Thus far, the courts have sided with Enbridge.
Nessel has also attempted to facilitate closure of the pipeline by filing multiple lawsuits against Enbridge. No lawsuit has yet been successful.
As Michigan temperatures drop, the White House is now studying the effects of closing down Line 5.t
The economic consequences of shutting down line 5 would only exacerbate the issue of affordability of energy for Michigan families and in a time of so much uncertainty. Michiganders should not have to worry about whether or not they can afford to heat their homes.