Careful, Biden: “Politically speaking, anything that could get in the way of the propane supply ahead of winter could play badly in Midwestern swing states.”
The Biden administration is getting criticism from a lot of people because they might shut down a Michigan pipeline as energy prices soar across the country.
The administration is targeting Line 5 in Michigan. Activists and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claim the line poses environmental problems.
The Republicans and Canada warned closure could lead to more expensive energy prices. Even with the line open we face higher heating bills this winter:
Word that the Biden administration was quietly studying the potential market impact of killing the Line 5 pipeline, first reported by POLITICO, set off a firestorm of criticism from Republicans saying the move would worsen the spike that has already driven propane prices up 50 percent from a year ago just as Michigan residents — the nation’s biggest consumers of the fuel — stock up for cold weather. Propane is stripped out of the line at the small port city of Escanaba to help feed supplies to communities in the state’s Upper Peninsula.
“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.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor, justified the closing because heating prices “will be more expensive this year than last year” even if they shut it down.
Then again, Granholm doesn’t care that people cannot afford to gas up their cars.
Kevin Book, managing director at energy consulting firm ClearView Energy provided Biden a truth bomb (emphasis mine(:
All this means that Biden, who promised at the COP26 climate talks that the United States would be “hopefully leading by the power of our example,” is facing the sort of cold, hard political decision that such grand climate ambitions can force on a country that is the world’s top oil and gas producer, said Kevin Book, managing director at energy consulting firm ClearView Energy: Either keep the pipeline in place and disappoint progressives, or revoke its permit and hand Republicans fresh ammunition just after they shellacked Democrats in Virginia and other state elections.
“When fuel prices are high, it may not matter what project gets stopped so much as the White House is seen stopping it,” Book said. “Politically speaking, anything that could get in the way of the propane supply ahead of winter could play badly in Midwestern swing states.”
Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly discussed the pipeline with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, according to a readout of their call. The Canadian government recently invoked a 1977 treaty to bolster its position that the oil continue to flow.
Canada Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told reporters Friday that he had called Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm that day to discuss the pipeline. Wilkinson told reporters the pipeline’s continued operation was “non-negotiable.” Canada hoped to have the issue “resolved in coming months” but was preparing contingency plans in case the line was shut down, Wilkinson added.
“Certainly it is prudent for governments at all levels to be thinking about what happens in the event that we are not able to resolve the issue with Michigan and we’re not successful in the court,” Wilkinson told reporters. “But I would say that, that is a contingency plan that we hope never to have to use.”
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