Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly gathering data on an oil pipeline in Michigan to determine if shutting it down would further increase fuel prices in the region.
“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”
The administration has not yet made a decision about the pipeline, which comes after the Canadian government invoked an old international treaty to stop the state of Michigan from shutting down the pipeline.
Sources told Politico Pro that the gathering of information on how shutting down the pipeline could impact fuel prices was only to give the Biden administration a clearer picture of the situation.
The move comes as the administration is facing backlash from far-left environmental groups that have watched as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has stymied their leftist climate agenda.
Politico Pro added:
Industry and environmental groups have argued over the impact that shutting down the pipeline would have on the region. Line 5 carries crude oil to a number of refineries in the area, both in the United States and Canada, and its owner, pipeline operator Enbridge, estimates it is responsible for supplying more than half the propane used for heating in northern Michigan. Prices for propane in Michigan have surged by 50 percent from a year ago, according to U.S. government statistics.
In contrast to the never-completed Keystone XL pipeline project, Line 5 has been operating since the 1950s and is a major energy supplier to Michigan and the region.
Bank of America warned this week that gas prices could go significantly higher than they currently are. Americans are now paying approximately $3.41 per gallon across the U.S. for regular and just over $4 per gallon for premium.
“Bank of America is now predicting that Brent crude oil, which drives gas prices, will zoom to $120 a barrel by June 2022,” CNN reported. “That’s 45% higher than current levels.”
Francisco Blanch, Bank of America’s head of global commodities, spoke with CNN about the prediction, noting that back in June he predicted that the price of crude oil would shoot to $100 a barrel.
“It’s very easy for prices to shoot up when demand conditions are tight like they are now,” Blanch said. “Back [in June], people thought we were crazy. Now, here we are. We are generally still quite bullish.”