OPINION

Letter: Michigan pipeline closure would harm Great Lakes region

Erie Times-News

Michigan pipeline closure would harm Great Lakes region

Families and businesses are already paying high prices for energy due to inflation and a lack of infrastructure — and the situation could get worse if Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer doesn’t reverse course on trying to shut down a key pipeline.

This project, Line 5, delivers up to 540,000 barrels per day of oil and natural gas liquids to heat homes and fuel vehicles in parts of the Great Lakes region. Notably, Line 5 supplies the Warren refinery in northwestern Pennsylvania that produces fuel for families and business in the region.

FILE - This June 2020, file photo, shot from a television screen provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy shows damage to anchor support EP-17-1 on the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline within the Straits of Mackinac in Mich. After President Joe Biden revoked Keystone XL's presidential permit and shut down construction of the long-disputed pipeline that was to carry oil from Canada to Texas, opponents of other pipelines hoped the projects they've been fighting would be next. (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy via AP, File)

Detroit Free Press:Republicans are making a Line 5 shutdown seem imminent: It's not

Earlier this month, pipeline opponents cheered when erroneous reports implied the White House is studying closing the pipeline. It isn’t; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing an environmental impact statement on project permits.

But no one should cheer if Line 5 stops operating. The result would be energy shortages and even higher prices for home heating fuels like natural gas and propane — not to mention the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and jeopardizing billions of dollars in economic activity in the Great Lakes region.

Obstruction of domestic infrastructure means an increased reliance on oil and gas from Russia and the Middle East. Instead of pleading with OPEC to increase foreign production, as the Biden administration did, we should be investing in more production of energy resources across North American — and in the infrastructure necessary to keep the continent’s abundant supplies of energy moving.

Kevin Sunday, director government affairs, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry