Despite surging energy prices, Biden explores shutting down Line 5 oil pipeline

Energy prices are skyrocketing in the United States. Gasoline costs have surged from $2.09 per gallon in November of 2020 to $3.41 per gallon, Americans that heat their homes with natural gas costs are expected to increase by 49 percent, and Americans using propane will see their costs increase by 69 percent compared to last year.

Despite this enormous increase in prices, the Biden administration is considering shutting down the Line 5 oil pipeline that is a crucial source of oil and propane from Canada to Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Closing down this pipeline will mean much higher prices, and it could result in supply shortages when people need this essential energy the most. In fact, Jason Hayes and I wrote a report last summer for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy dealing with exactly how bad shuttering Line 5 would be for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which you can read here.

Our report concluded that closing Line 5 would leave Upper Michigan residents vulnerable to price spikes in home heating fuel and that proposals to switching homes that use propane for home heating to electric heat would cost these residents an extra $3,400 to $3,900 per year.

Proponents of shutting down Line 5 argue that energy efficiency upgrades can meaningfully reduce the need for heating fuels, but these arguments are not supported by any cost-benefit analysis. In fact, energy efficiency upgrades would cost more than $20,000 per home to reduce propane consumption by 60 percent. These upgrades would take more than 20 years to “pay for themselves,” with propane costs at $1.66 per gallon.

My co-author Jason Hayes was on Fox Business to discuss the potential closure of Line 5.

Michigan isn’t the only state that will be harmed by the closure of the Line 5 pipeline. Northern Wisconsin is heavily reliant upon propane for home heating, and costs will go up if the Biden administration shuts the pipeline down.

This is not rocket science. Decreasing the supply of energy while demand is high will result in increasing prices and potential shortages. There is no other way to describe the Biden administration’s energy policies than severe malpractice.

While Americans are struggling to afford their heating bills or choosing between heating and eating, President Biden is essentially doing everything he can to make this situation worse. It’s Mourning in America.