Shutdown on line 5 can cause fuel shortages, unemployment and damage to the Canadian economy

News analysis

Despite years of trying to sound the alarm, advocate of affordable energy, Dan McTigue, the Canadian government and the media are late for the possibility of closing the oil pipeline on Line 5. He told the Epoch Times that it might have gone too far.

“Until about two months ago, no one took the issue seriously,” said McTigue, a former Liberal Party lawmaker and Canadian founder for affordable energy.

“Every time I met with representatives from Michigan and Ohio, they begged me to make sure that the Canadian media and government took this seriously,” he said.

“Looking at the navel by our politicians, the elite, and our media is in terrible sync with the reality that the fuel to move our economy, if any, can be negligible. No. Whether we want to move to a green economy or not, we don’t seem to be completely aware of the danger of lurking and dying. “

Last year, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced May 12, 2021 as the expiration date for a 67-year-old easement permit on Line 5. And Lake Michigan. The Calgary-based Embridge-owned pipeline begins in Superior, Wisconsin, and carries up to 540,000 barrels of oil daily through the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario.

According to Enbridge, a Line 5 shutdown means that refineries servicing in Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania will receive about 45% less crude oil from the company than they currently need. The supply from Line 5 is also the source of oil for the Line 9 pipeline, which runs from Sarnia to Quebec, and Line 9 can be 40 to 50 percent short of the normal supply to the Quebec refinery. Gasoline, propane, jet fuel, and other products will be in short supply in these two and three US states.

You cannot fill in the blanks in your emergency response plan. Transportation, trucking, and rail can replace just a small portion of the supply if fuel is still found to run them.

“Where do you use diesel to drive trucks and trains? And what about the cost, assuming we can get it?” McTeig asks.

He said the imminent closure would leave Canada with the worst economic scenarios.

“A perfect storm, a bunch of all the worst possible scenarios coming at once. You’re in a pandemic, you’re in short supply. Currently, the supply chain is terribly stressed. Energy prices are skyrocketing. All demand is growing throughout North America and around the world. “

Unemployment, court struggle

The closure of Line 5 could triple Ontario’s gasoline prices and destroy tens of thousands of jobs. The pipeline, which has been in operation since 1953, supplies raw materials to petrochemical facilities in southwestern Ontario. The Sarnia-Ramton Petrochemical Refining Complex employs nearly 5,000 people and indirectly creates an additional 23,500 jobs.

Jeffrey Hale, a professor of political science at the University of Lethbridge, says the big picture will get worse.

“The spillover of the supply chain through the Ontario economy suggests that this is foolish for the government to ignore, especially if you want to participate in elections,” Hale said in an interview.

He said the momentum against Embridge began after the 2010 oil spill near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“That transaction [Michigan’s] Governor Snyder settled before resigning in 2016 and was the wisest and most practical approach to this issue. If there is a recognizable risk from the two pipelines at the bottom of Lake Michigan, it’s also a very wise move to put them in a concrete tunnel and then put other utility connections in them … ” Mr. says.

The tunnel project has been postponed in two proceedings, and other proceedings are being heard in court.

“There is a legal debate about its effectiveness. [pipeline easement] “Agreement,” Hale explained. “And Governor Whitmer has to answer the court about her ability to unilaterally revoke the agreement. I think this process needs to work next year or so.”

International agreements may supersede legal issues at the state level. In 1977, the Government of Canada signed a treaty with the United States, the oil pipeline was under federal jurisdiction, and both countries declared that they would ensure “uninterrupted transmission” across national borders.

“Does the Pipeline Treaty work? I know the time,” says Hale.

“Serious political drama”

Former Alberta Energy Minister Ted Morton is more confident.

“We are unlikely to be closed,” he said. “Whitmer has political ambitions that go beyond the Governor of Michigan.”

“The interstate and international pipelines are under federal jurisdiction. What she is trying to do violates the 1977 Convention and also the NAFTA and USMCA, so it’s a political drama, but serious. It’s a political drama. “

Minister of Natural Resources Seams Oregan told Parliamentary Commission in early March that Ottawa would take all necessary steps to keep Line 5 in operation, but did not explain the government’s strategy. Politicians urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to speak directly with US President Joe Biden on the issue.

Morton calls Trudeau “Gretchen Whitmer of Canada”.

“As far as Trudeau goes, he’s trying to show all his hands to the deck and fight for the benefit of Canada, but the problem is that he doesn’t have moral authority,” he said.

“He rejected the Northern Gateway. He hampered Energy East. He brought a ban on tankers on the northern coast of British Columbia. He made pipeline approval nearly impossible. C-69 And now he is ready to give the indigenous people the right to veto the pipeline. “

Morton, a dual citizen of Montana, has long-term concerns.

“We’re going to win the battle, but we’re losing the war. This is another by a coalition of oil sands and pipeline measures to publicize the issue, raise funds, register volunteers, and boost publicity. Because it is an attempt of. “