Consumer Energy Alliance Releases Report Highlighting the Economic Harm that a Line 5 Closure Will Have on Ohio’s Families, Businesses and Industries
COLUMBUS, OH – Shutting down the Line 5 pipeline, the reckless proposal pursued by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, would force families, businesses and industries in Ohio to pay more than $2.7 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 Ohio families and businesses, who will spend at least $2.7 billion more every year on transportation fuels, or $13.6 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. “Ohio’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 Ohio needs. Recklessly raising energy bills on Ohio’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.”
Concerned about how a Line 5 closure would hurt manufacturers in Ohio who depend on the pipeline for feedstock Ohio Manufacturers’ Association President Ryan Augsburger said, “The Buckeye State and its number one industry — manufacturing — have much riding on the high-profile energy battle initiated by Michigan’s leaders. Undoubtedly, closure of Line 5 would be an economic disaster for our region and the industries that depend on this vital resource. The OMA strongly supports the uninterrupted operation of the pipeline, especially at a time when Ohio businesses and families continue to experience soaring energy inflation.”
Commenting on the job loss that would result in Ohio 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.”
Ohio Chemistry and Technology Council President Jenn Klein added, “Ohio’s chemistry industry is the 3rd largest in the nation. If the line 5 pipeline is shut down, we could see skyrocketing costs for transportation fuels as well as petrochemical feedstocks that we use to produce thousands of commercial and consumer goods. The potential job loss and inflation that would result from this closure will be devastating.”
Responding to how choking the Midwest of fuel supply will hurt the trucking industry and raise inflation even further, Ohio Trucking Association President and CEO Thomas A. Balzer said, “In today’s extremely stressed supply chain, any changes to the inputs will have a devastating impact on the outputs. Increases in fuel costs are already at historic levels, driving up the costs even further will be directly felt by everyday Americans. Shutting down Line 5 will not only be felt by the trucking industry but will continue to increase the inflation consumers are already experiencing.”
Ohio Chamber of Commerce President Steve Stivers added, “The United States cannot afford to relinquish its hard-earned spot as one of the world’s largest producers of oil and natural gas, but this is exactly what is at risk with actions such as revoking energy infrastructure like Line 5. Domestic energy production and refinement is more important now than ever in the wake of the Russian invasion on Ukraine. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce will continue to support affordable, domestic, reliable energy that businesses across Ohio and the country rely on, while ensuring it is transported in the most environmentally responsible way possible.”
To view the full report, click here.
To view findings specific to Ohio, 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.