Despite Republican senators' concerns that the action would result in fuel price shocks across the Midwest, the Biden Administration is considering shutting down a Michigan oil pipeline in yet another effort to transition the US away from fossil fuels.
According to published sources, the government is looking into the prospect of ending the Line 5 pipeline, which connects Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario, and gathering data to see if shutting down the line will result in a spike in fuel prices.
13 members of Congress, led by Ohio Rep. Bob Latta, wrote to President Barack Obama on Thursday, urging him to keep the oil line open, stating, "Line 5 is crucial to the lifeblood of the Midwest."
'Should this pipeline be shut down, tens of thousands of jobs across Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the region would be lost; billions of dollars in economic activity would be jeopardized; and the environment would be put at risk due to additional trucks operating on highways and railroads carrying hazardous materials,' the legislators wrote.
'Furthermore, 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.'
Line 5 is part of a network that delivers roughly 540,000 barrels of crude oil and other petroleum products per day from western Canada to Escanaba, Michigan.
The United States will become international leaders in the battle against climate change, according to Biden, who spoke at the COP26 summit in Glasgow this weekend. He is seeking to shut down pipelines, igniting a struggle between Indigenous peoples and environmentalists who want to halt them and Republicans who want to avoid a price hike.
He generated outrage by shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline, resulting in the loss of thousands of American jobs, and has been accused of caving in to Russia by allowing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Europe to continue operating.
Gas prices have hit a seven-year high in the U.S., inflation is becoming one of the top concerns of American voters and OPEC has bucked Biden's pleas to increase oil production.
Those in support of its operation argue that shutting it down will worsen fuel shortages and price hikes as the winter months approach.
Energy Secretary and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, on the other hand, claims that gasoline costs will surge this winter regardless.
'Yeah, this is going to happen,' Granholm told CNN on Sunday. 'It will be more expensive this year than last year.'
'We are in a slightly beneficial position, well certainly relative to Europe, because their choke hold of natural gas is very significant. But we have the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have, which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires.'
According to MPs, the administration's decision to shut down Line 5 is motivated by a desire to 'appease environmental organizations.'
Biden's energy policies and work on Line 5 are 'just one more example of being detached from reality,' according to Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
'They're planning to power an industrial nation like the United States on solar panels and wind turbines,' Hayes told Fox News.
'I hope it doesn't end like this, but where I see it going is unfortunately the same thing that happened in February in Texas: People freezing in their homes.
He continued: 'Most of the time when it's extremely cold or there's a real bad polar vortex situation, typically it's pretty cloudy and there's not a lot of wind.'
The energy expert also noted that production of solar panels and wind turbines still requires 'oil, natural gas, nuclear and even coal'.
Additionally, proponents of the pipeline allege that the negative impacts of its termination exceed access to fuel and energy prices.
They claim its termination would 'trigger an international spinoff' with Canada.
'The 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty between the United States and Canada has ensured the uninterrupted transportation of energy products across the border for decades,' Latta and his co-authors wrote.
'Given the strained relations between our two countries brought on by the termination of the Keystone XL pipeline and the prolonged shutdown of cross-border travel due to COVID-19, now is not the time to worsen this critical diplomatic partnership.'The Keystone XL pipeline, which extended from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska and carried 830,000 barrels of oil per day, was canceled by Biden's administration in January. The contentious action sparked outrage, particularly after the administration lifted restrictions on a pipeline that would allow Russia to send electricity to Germany.
Legislators feel that cutting Line 5 and breaching yet another pact with Canada would be bad to the nations' ties in the long run.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted over the weekend: 'President Biden wants to destroy America’s energy sector while giving Russia a new pipeline and begging OPEC to produce more oil. It’s totally backwards. This is what it looks like to put America Last.'
Meanwhile, all twelve of Michigan's federally recognized tribes also called on the president last week, urging him to move forward with the state's efforts to shutdown the pipeline.
'The Governor, the Attorney General, and our Tribal Nations need your Administration's help,' the tribes wrote Friday in a letter obtained by the Detroit Metro Times. '… During your campaign, you promised that you would heed our concerns and act to protect our fundamental interests.'The tribes were given the ability to fish, hunt, and gather in the Great Lakes Anishnaabe area when they relinquished the territories in 1836, according to Whitney Gravelle, president of Bay Mills Indian Community.
The tribes also claim that their treaty trumps the deal with Canada.
'We possess rights and interests in the integrity of the Great Lakes that date back to time immemorial, and that are protected by solemn treaties with the United States long predating the agreement Canada rests on,' the letter states.
'We view Line 5 as an existential threat to our treaty-protected rights, resources, and fundamental way of life as Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes.'
Sources say the Biden Administration has yet to make a decision regarding the operation of Line 5.