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The White House is studying the replacement of Line 5—a contentious piece of infrastructure that carries crude oil and fuels from Canada to the United States through the Great Lakes region—which the governor of Michigan wants to shut down for good.
The Biden administration is considering the impact of the pipeline's replacement, a spokeswoman for the White House confirmed, as quoted by the Detroit News. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying the environmental impact of the replacement project to "help inform any additional action or position the U.S. will be taking on the replacement of Line 5."
The news comes after media reports that the administration was actually planning to kill the Line 5 pipeline—a move that sparked an outcry among Republicans who said shutting down the pipeline will send propane sky high for Michigan residents, who are the biggest consumers of the fuel, according to Politico.
"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," Politico quoted Rep. Bob Lata, a Republican from Ohio, as saying in a letter a group of House representatives sent to the White House earlier this month.
The twin pipelines have been in operation for 65 years, which prompted the Canadian pipeline operator to propose a replacement of a section of the pipes with new ones a few years ago. The Michigan Legislature approved it in late 2018.
However, the replacement project sparked the outrage of environmentalists and Native American communities in the area. The opponents argued that a proposed tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac to house the pipeline would increase the risk of oil spills in a basin that provides drinking water to some 40 million people.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com