Closing Line 5 Won’t Lead To Higher Gas Prices

One of the major planks of Enbridge’s misinformation campaign is that closing the old pipeline will lead to skyrocketing gas prices.

Chemical Engineer and researcher Gary Street says the evidence proves otherwise.

Street, who worked at Dow for 30 years but now works pro bono for environmental groups, took note of when Enbridge closed both lines after an anchor struck the east line in the Straits of Mackinac. The west line was back up and running 19 days after the accident, but the east line remained offline for 83 days. That means only half of the pipeline was operational for nearly three month.

Guess what?

Gas prices didn’t spike.

Street says the anchor accident provided a “real world” experiment, which refuted Enbridge’s scare tactic of the specter of high gas prices if the pipeline is eventually shut down for good.

According to Street in Michigan Advance:

If Michigan was successful in shutting down Line 5, Enbridge, the refineries, and some of the media predicted a steep price escalation within a matter of days for Michigan and Toronto. Their predictions were grossly exaggerated and proved to be incorrect. None were even close to correct. 

Instead, the increase was negligible. If Line 5 were shut down again, the increase would be negligible again. Why? Large corporations never depend on a single source supplier; they have several.  If one is unable to fulfill its portion of the feedstock, they turn to the others to make up for the shortfall.

There are several studies that show a minimal impact on gas prices if Enbridge were to be shut down.

He says the pipeline only provides 3% of Michigan’s overall gasoline supply, and that the amount of gas refined at Marathon Detroit had a negligible effect on the price of gas in both Detroit and Toronto while half of the pipeline remained down.

And don’t forget about the study conducted by a consultant hired by Enbridge revealed closing the pipeline results in a price hike of half of one cent per gallon!

Not only that, when you consider the push towards electric cars, and switching from propane to heat pumps, that’ll only help offset any possible gas price hikes if Line 5 is closed.

As Street said in earlier story on Michigan Advance, “When you work with Enbridge, you learn very quickly that you can’t trust anything they say.”

Ain’t that the truth!

If we’re going to celebrate our Great Lakes, and use the lakes to help lure people to move here in the future, perhaps ensuring they’ll never be under the threat of a catastrophic oil spill is a good start.


Oil & Water Don’t Mix

Clean Water Action Michigan

FLOW (For the Love Of Water)

Straits of Mackinac

Straits of Mackinac” by PunkToad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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