The Biden administration is reportedly weighing the potential market consequences of shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan, drawing criticism from opponents. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Biden's energy secretary, predicted Sunday that heating prices will rise this winter regardless of the Biden administration's decision on the pipeline. "Yeah, this is going to happen. It will be more expensive this year than last year," Granholm told CNN.
The administration has yet to decide on what to do with Line 5 and officials were gathering information only to present a clear picture of the situation, according to sources who spoke to Politico.
Line 5 is part of a network that moves crude oil and other petroleum products from western Canada, transporting about 540,000 barrels per day. Petroleum is taken from the pipeline in Escanaba, Michigan.
Jason Hayes, the director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, blasted the Biden administration for its energy policies, telling Fox News that their work on Line 5 is "just one more example of being divorced from reality."
"They're planning to power an industrial nation like the United States on solar panels and wind turbines," Hayes said, while noting that even the solar panels and wind turbines require "oil, natural gas, nuclear and even coal" to be produced.
Hayes presented a dire picture of what shutting Line 5 could mean if people are unable to get natural gas or the electricity it provides as the nation heads into winter.
"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 said, adding, "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."
Explaining he has trouble understanding why some Western leaders seem unable to grasp the importance of reliable, affordable energy and electricity for everyday citizens, Hayes said, "It seems like the only nations that understand that we require reliable, affordable dispatchable energy is China and Russia. And they're the only ones that are producing energy and they're more than happy to hold that energy hostage for the rest of the world."
The Biden administration's move on Line 5 has drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers in Congress, more than a dozen of whom sent a letter to Biden on Nov. 4 warning against such a move as gas prices surge 50%.
Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, wrote, "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."
The Biden administration canceled the Keystone XL pipeline in January, but has since waived sanctions against a pipeline for Russia to ship energy to Germany, effectively approving that pipeline.