Confronted with a news report of a Biden administration plan to shut down another oil pipeline amid spiking energy costs, the White House called the report “inaccurate” while acknowledging the project is facing an environmental-impact review.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Biden deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday about the future of the Line 5 oil pipeline carrying Canadian oil across the Great Lakes into Michigan.
Doocy asked Jean-Pierre why, with the secretary of energy warning it will cost Americans more to heat their homes this winter, is “the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan.”
“So, Peter, that is inaccurate, that is not right,” she replied.
“So,” the spokeswoman continued, reading from her notes, “any reporting indicating some decision has been made, again, is not accurate.”
Jean-Pierre said Canada has “decided to invoke the dispute resolution provisions of the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty,” and the pipeline is subject to litigation between the Canadian pipeline company, Enbridge Inc., and the state of Michigan.
Line 5 moves about 540,000 barrels of crude oil and other petroleum products a day from western Canada to Escanaba, Michigan, on the state’s Upper Peninsula. Enbridge wants to extend the pipeline to the rest of the state and to Ontario by building a tunnel under Lake Michigan, which it argues is safer than surface transportation.
After repeating “that’s inaccurate,” Doocy asked,”What’s inaccurate?”
“The reporting, the reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” she responded.
Doocy replied that he didn’t say “wanting.”
“Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?” the Fox News reporter asked.
“Yes, we are,” said Jean-Pierre.
“So what is inaccurate?”
“Well, I thought you were saying that we were going to shut it down,” she said.
Jean-Pierre added that the Army Corps of Engineers is preparing an “environmental impact” statement on the tunnel.
See the exchange:
Peter Doocy already broke Jen Psaki’s replacement.
WATCH THIS. pic.twitter.com/JtgsycUm4X
— Danny De Urbina (@dannydeurbina) November 8, 2021
President Biden’s cancellation of TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL project upon entering office drew outrage from across the political spectrum as well as from Canada, where the pipeline originates.
The administration’s consideration of doing the same with Line 5 is “just one more example of being divorced from reality,” charged Jason Hayes, the 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 said in a Fox News interview, pointing out 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.
He fears people will end up “freezing in their homes,” as many did in Texas last winter.
“It seems like the only nations that understand that we require reliable, affordable dispatchable energy is China and Russia,” Hayes said. “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.”
On Capitol Hill, more than a dozen Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Biden warning against shutting down the Michigan pipeline as gas prices soar 50%.
“As we enter the winter months and temperatures drop across the Midwest,” wrote Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, “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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