Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Michigan House Republicans on Tuesday condemned President Joe Biden’s effort to shut down a second oil pipeline while American workers grapple with seven-year high gas prices.
On Monday, the White House acknowledged the administration is weighing the closure of a Michigan pipeline to satisfy Indian tribes, who say the Line 5 pipeline is an “existential threat to [their] treaty-protected rights, resources, and fundamental way of life.” Biden already canceled a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline in January that would have transported 830,000 barrels per day.
“It is clear that President Biden never learned his lesson following his disastrous decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline, which cost thousands of energy jobs and eliminated a reliable source of oil,” Scalise exclusively told Breitbart News. “Now after caving to far-left special interests in Glasgow, he wants to kill the Line 5 pipeline in Michigan, even after he green-lit the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for Russia,” Scalise said, referencing the Russian pipeline Biden permitted to be built in Europe.
Republican representatives in Michigan are especially angered by the pipeline’s potential closure, which transports about 23 million gallons of oil per day from Canada into the state.
In Michigan’s first district, where the pipeline is primarily located, Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) said, “shutting down Line 5 would saddle constituents with unaffordable heating costs and propane shortages as we head into the winter months.”
“The Biden Administration must end this terrible policy and immediately put the needs of Michiganders first,” Bergman added about the potential of the pipeline closure.
Just outside Detroit in Michigan’s seventh district, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) told Breitbart News that Biden’s war on American energy may “cause further supply chain disruptions, and send home heating costs through the roof.”
“First it was terminating the Keystone XL pipeline, now it is the Line 5 pipeline, which serves more than 50 percent of Michigan’s propane needs, that is under attack,” Walberg said. “If President Biden goes through with shutting down Line 5, it would be a significant blow to Michigan’s economy.”
Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) from Michigan’s third district also warned the closure of the pipeline would increase energy prices and kill jobs. “With oil shortages already expected and winter months approaching, shutting down the pipeline and putting thousands out of work would be a devastating decision from families across Michigan and the Midwest,” Meijer’s office told Breitbart News.
Meanwhile, the Canadian company that owns Line 5 pipeline is fighting in state and federal court to keep the pipeline open. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) has already “revoked and terminated” the company’s easement and demanded the pipeline be shut down by spring.
The opposition to the pipeline contends the transport vehicle violates the 1836 Treaty of Washington that grants Indian tribes hunting and gathering rights in exchange for the lands. Defenders of the pipeline, however, believe terminating the pipeline would break an agreement with Canada that allows the flow of oil between the North American countries.
When the White House was asked Monday about its consideration of closing the pipeline to appease the Native American tribes, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged the administration is reviewing their pipeline policy.
Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledges the Biden administration is "studying" shutting down the Line 5 Pipeline.
If Biden shuts down Line 5, Millions of Americans could face higher energy bills this winter. pic.twitter.com/7ZJoDIBd0S
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 8, 2021
“There is a review, and we’re waiting,” she said.
Meanwhile, gas prices continue to rise, with the national average price per gallon on Tuesday reaching $3.419, according to AAA. The pricy seven-year-high caused Senate Democrats to ask the White House to resolve the problem before the 2022 midterms.
“In light of these pressing concerns, we ask that you consider all tools available at your disposal to lower US gasoline prices. This includes a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a ban on crude oil exports,” senators requested on Monday.
But Biden has blamed OPEC for not producing enough oil while ignoring his anti-American energy policies. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggested on Sunday gas prices could reach $4.00 per gallon if OPEC does not act.
“OPEC is, unfortunately, controlling the agenda with respect to oil prices. OPEC is a cartel, and it controls over 50 percent of the supply of gasoline,” Granholm claimed.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.