Recent reports indicate that the Biden administration intends to shut down another huge oil pipeline located in Michigan. Critics were quick to point out that in the current context of high inflation, it could be catastrophic for the U.S. economy to continue to hamper the exploitation and distribution of fuels.
While the final decision has not yet been made, Biden administration officials are analyzing the political, economic, and social consequences of permanently closing the Michigan pipeline known as Line 5, Fox News reported.
Line 5 is part of a network that moves crude oil and other petroleum products into western Canada, carrying about 540,000 barrels per day.
The move to shut down the pipeline is part of President Biden’s plans to move the country away from fossil fuels and toward alternative energies.
Biden addressed world leaders last week in Glasgow, promising that the United States was now ready to lead the fight against climate change. But reality shows that the effects of a sudden transition as envisioned could bring economic and social disasters in the short term, critics say.
Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, criticized the Biden administration for its energy policies and told Fox News that the intention to shut down Line 5 is “just one more example of the current administration’s divorce 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.
The downsides of such decisions are multi-factorial and can have serious consequences if not properly addressed.
In an inflationary context, where fuels have been showing historic price increases, further reducing oil production or reducing distribution capacity will certainly increase fuel prices.
It should be noted that fuel is one of the key factors in defining the prices of mass consumer goods. That is to say, every time fuel prices increase, it will surely be immediately reflected on the shelves and therefore in the population’s spending capacity.
Critics have also shown concern for the impact on a great mass of workers since millions of people today depend on the income generated by the hydrocarbon exploitation activity.
Hayes presented a frightening picture of what could happen if they ultimately shut down Line 5, causing citizens to see hindrances to obtaining 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,” Hayes said.
Last week, more than a dozen Republican lawmakers in Congress sent a letter to President Biden warning that fuel prices have already risen 50% on average and that this measure would only pronounce the trend, just at a time when fuel is needed most to heat homes in the cold winter.
Keystone XL Pipeline
One of President Biden’s first measures upon taking office at the beginning of the year was to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which was announced as one of the largest projects in U.S. oil history, which during the Trump administration, had agreed to hire 52 thousand jobs.
This decision generated for the Biden administration an important rapprochement with leftist sectors linked to the ideology of climate change and the alternative energy business; however, it also brought it into a confrontation with U.S. industrial sectors and with millions of people who will be directly affected by these measures.