A new report from Fox News claims President Joe Biden and his administration are considering the effects of shutting down a Michigan oil and gas pipeline.
Fox emphasized that no decision has been made on the Line 5 pipeline in Michigan, which transports oil and natural gas from Canada to states including Michigan and Wisconsin. Still, White House officials are said to be gathering all the facts as they weigh the move to close the line for good.
“Shortages and price increases”
Chief in the president’s mind, Fox reported, is what the potential impact of the shutdown could be on energy prices. Currently, the pipeline “transports about 540,000 barrels per day,” according to the New York Post.
Republicans including Ohio General Assembly Bob Latta are warning that right now, as the U.S. is in the midst of recovering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, may not be the best time to call the pipeline quits.
“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,” Latta wrote in a letter signed by a dozen other GOP lawmakers in the Buckeye State, according to the Post.
It would come, Latta said, “at a time when Americans are already facing rapidly rising energy prices, steep home heating costs, global supply shortages, and skyrocketing gas prices.”
“It will be more expensive”
But some on the left have suggested that prices will go up this winter regardless of what decision is ultimately made.
“Yeah, this is going to happen,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who previously served as governor of Michigan, said in an interview, according to Fox. “It will be more expensive this year than last year.”
That assertion has been bolstered by a report from the Energy Information Administration last month that revealed American households could spend some 30% more on heat this winter compared to last year, as reported by the New York Post.
“Flipping the switch”
In the meantime, Biden officials are remaining optimistic. But the situation elsewhere in the world isn’t exactly helping matters.
“We are in a slightly beneficial position, well certainly relative to Europe, because their chokehold of natural gas is very significant,” Granholm said, referring to high fuel prices in Europe brought on by a heavy dependence on Russian gas, according to the Post.
“But we have the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have,” she said, “which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires.” Only time will tell what that means for Americans — and their wallets — as the weather gets colder.