Consumer Energy Alliance Releases Report Highlighting the Economic Harm that a Line 5 Closure Will Have on Michigan’s Families, Businesses and Industries
LANSING, MI – Shutting down the Line 5 pipeline, the reckless proposal pursued by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, would force families, businesses and industries in Michigan to pay more than $2.2 billion more for transportation fuel every year, according to an independent third-party analysis commissioned by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).
Weinstein, Clower and Associates examined the impacts that a Line 5 closure would have on the region and found that shutting down this critical infrastructure would have a devastating impact on the supply of transportation fuels in regional markets, and hurt petrochemical refiners that rely on the pipeline to safely and efficiently deliver feedstock. Such a supply shock would create significantly higher gasoline and diesel prices for Michigan families and businesses, who will spend at least $2.2 billion more every year on transportation fuels, or $11.1 billion more over five years.
The study also found that families and businesses across the Midwest will spend at least $29.2 billion more for gasoline and diesel over the following five years due to the resulting loss of production at area refineries.
The report dovetails with previous findings that closing Line 5 would cause at least $20.8 billion in economic losses to Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
“At a time when consumer prices are rising at their fastest pace in more than 40 years, and Americans are suffering from the highest gasoline prices in over seven years, choking the region’s fuel supply by closing Line 5 would be economically ruinous,” CEA Midwest Director Chris Ventura said. “Michigan’s families are already struggling to pay their bills, with many on fixed incomes or living below the poverty line having to choose between putting gas in their tank, buying groceries, or filling their prescriptions.”
Ventura added, “From an environmental perspective, the proposal is just as careless. Line 5 hasn’t leaked in the Straits during its 68-year history, and it is inarguably the safest, most reliable method to transport the fuel Michigan needs. Recklessly raising energy bills on Michigan’s families and businesses by disrupting their fuel supplies – notably oil and propane – while harming the economy and the environment is irresponsible, especially when solutions like the Line 5 Tunnel Project have been proposed.”
Commenting on the job loss that would result in Michigan from shutting down Line 5 United Steelworkers District 1 Director Donnie Blatt said, “The USW is committed to advocating for a safe, clean environment. But we believe that does not have to come at the cost of the jobs of our members, and our communities. Families and businesses across the Midwest should not be asked to bear the brunt of what could amount to a $29.2 billion increase in gasoline and diesel costs over the next five years when a viable solution exists. The Great Lakes Tunnel Project will safeguard jobs, the economy, and the environment, at no cost to the taxpayer. We urge our members, communities, and legislators to support the construction of the tunnel, and the continued operation of the existing Line 5 pipeline until it has been completed.”
Noting how shutting down Line 5 will unnecessarily burden Michigan’s small business and economy Small Business Association of Michigan President and CEO Brian Calley said, “As small businesses work to overcome inflation and staffing challenges, the last thing they need is to be burdened with additional costs that a Line 5 shutdown would bring. This report once again shows how reckless the politically motivated nonsense around shutting down Line 5 would be for our economy, our small businesses and all of our residents.”
David Rhoa, President of the Marana Group added, “Shutting down Line 5 will be a gut-punch to small business owners across our state at a time when they are struggling to recover from two years of pandemic restrictions. Fuel costs for my company’s fleet of vehicles have increased by more than 50% in the last year. A Line 5 shutdown would add to the significant inflationary pressure small businesses like mine are already under, further increasing costs during an already difficult economy.”
Responding to how disruptions in Michigan’s fuel supply will be felt by Michigan’s manufacturers, residents and businesses, Operating Engineers 324 Business Manager Douglas Stockwell said, “Carrying out the vital work of rebuilding Michigan’s infrastructure requires skilled labor, heavy equipment, and the materials and fuel to make them run. Line 5 is essential to that fuel supply. Any disruption to that supply or its costs will be felt by the residents and businesses that are relying on this work, and by the jobs it supports. Line 5 is necessary to rebuild Michigan, and to the skilled labor accomplishing it.”
Noting how Line 5 is critical in meeting Michigan’s energy needs and protecting our environment, Mark High of the Canada – United States Business Association said, “This is a time to encourage and enhance our cross-border cooperation on trade, not erect barriers to it. Rail and truck transportation by themselves are not enough to meet the energy needs of American and Canadian consumers. Modernizing our energy infrastructure, like the proposed Line 5 Tunnel Project, will both preserve our economies and protect our Great Lakes environment.”
John Dulmes, Executive Director of the Michigan Chemistry Council added, “Line 5 is a critical part of our regional energy infrastructure, and it remains the safest and most effective way of transporting energy products essential to our economy. Given the incredibly fragile state of our supply chains and workforce, there are just no feasible alternatives, and so we encourage policymakers to work to make a safe pipeline even safer.”
To view the full report, click here.
To view findings specific to Michigan, click here.
About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is the leading voice for sensible energy and environmental policies for consumers, bringing together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers, and manufacturers to support America’s environmentally sustainable energy future. With more than 550,000 members nationwide, we are committed to leading the nation’s dialogue around energy, its critical role in the economy, and how it supports the vital supply chains for the families and businesses that depend on them. CEA works daily to encourage communities across the nation to seek sensible, realistic, and environmentally responsible solutions to meet our nation’s energy needs.