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With Gas Prices Soaring, Biden May Close Another Pipeline

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Winter is coming and gas prices are soaring but that hasn’t stopped the Biden administration from considering whether to close another pipeline.

News that the administration "was quietly studying the potential market impact of killing" Enbridge’s Line 5, which transports 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, which is then refined into propane, was first reported by Politico and has led to fierce pushback from Republican lawmakers.

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The pipeline’s closing has long been championed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over the potential for an oil spill. She’s called the 4.5-mile stretch in the Great Lakes a “ticking time bomb.”

In May, the Democrat ordered Enbridge to close the pipeline, making the issue an international problem between Canada and the U.S. after Enbridge refused.

According to international legal experts, the U.S. is legally bound to keep the pipeline operational due to the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty between the U.S. and Canada.

Lawmakers representing the region have stressed that the pipeline "is essential to the lifeblood of the Midwest."

“Should this pipeline be shut down, tens of thousands of jobs would be lost across Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the region; billions of dollars in economic activity would be in jeopardy; and the environment would be at greater risk due to additional trucks operating on roadways and railroads carrying hazardous materials," Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) wrote to President Biden last week in a letter that was signed by a dozen other congressional lawmakers.

They also pointed to the impact on prices and shortages should the pipeline be closed. 

“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.”

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Meanwhile, former Michigan governor and current Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Sunday that no matter what, fuel prices will increase this winter. 

"Yeah, this is going to happen," Granholm told CNN. "It will be more expensive this year than last year."

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