By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — As a very unpopular President Joe Biden stops in Superior today for a victory lap on the $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan, will he talk about the vital energy infrastructure his environmental extremists allies are trying to tear down — at the risk of U.S. and global security?
As Empower Wisconsin first reported, Whitmer’s office lobbied fellow Dem Gov. Tony Evers to join Michigan’s lawsuit against the critical pipeline that carries as much as 540,000 barrels of light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil and natural gas liquids a day through Wisconsin, Michigan and Canada.
Biden’s damage-control team had to walk back comments late last year from White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, who said the administration was studying the impact of shutting down the pipeline.
Such kowtowing to far left interests is in line with a president whose first act in office was to stop construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. That move killed thousands of jobs in cutting a major domestic energy supply line.
U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua), whose 7th Congressional District includes Superior, said he hopes Biden addresses the infrastructure of energy. More so, that the president “changes course” on his policies that have sent energy prices soaring and weakened the United States’ hand in foreign policy as oil giant Russia pummels Ukraine.
“I hope he talks about Line 5, the pipeline that runs from Superior over to the Mackinac Straits,” Tiffany said during a Republican National Committee press call Tuesday afternoon with 3rd Congressional District Republican candidate Derrick Van Orden.
“There’s a segment in Ashland County that needs to be permitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (Biden) should say to Gov. Evers, ‘Let’s get this done. Let’s get this pipeline upgraded so people can have affordable energy here in America,’” Tiffany said. “And he should call Gov. Whitmer out in Michigan who has tried to shut down a pipeline reconstruction through the Mackinac Straits (a move that) jeopardizes security in the Upper Midwest.”
Enbridge plans to construct approximately 40 miles of a new 30-inch diameter pipeline in northern Wisconsin. The project would relocate the portion of the 645-mile pipeline. The DNR is reviewing the project proposal following a public hearing last month.
Enbridge would relocate the pipeline in Ashland, Bayfield and Iron Counties outside the tribal lands of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The tribe sued Enbridge in 2019 demanding the pipeline be removed from its land. The company also proposes abandoning approximately 20 miles of its existing 30-inch-diameter Line 5 pipeline, including the section that currently crosses the Bad River Reservation.
The estimated $450 million project would support more than 1,000 jobs in Wisconsin, the majority of those in the economically struggling north, according to an analysis. Its economic impact to the state could hit $135 million, increasing state revenue by $6.4 million and federal tax collections by $78 million.
Evers, like Biden, has pushed a radical and costly climate change agenda aimed at replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy in the very short term. Consumers, hit by inflation at levels not seen in 40 years, are paying more for gas, heating fuel, food, everything. Gas prices in Superior on Tuesday were at $3.39 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
Killing or slowing projects like Enbridge’s Line 5 will only make matters worse, energy experts say.
Enbridge asserts taking Line 5 out of service would result in the loss of the energy equivalent of:
- Enough gas to fill 1 million passenger cars and light-duty vehicles per day.
- Enough jet fuel to move 883 commercial planes per day.
- Enough diesel to fill up 6,000 freight- carrying semi-trucks per day.
- Enough propane to heat 240,000 homes with about 1,100 square feet of living space each.
“Line 5 is critical,” Tiffany said, noting he and about 30 percent of his constituents heat their homes with propane. They’ve seen propane prices more than double since August 2020. “That’s Indicative of what happens with this mantra of shutting down fossil fuels. It is hitting Americans.”
And it’s hitting national security. As Tiffany notes, the U.S., moving from energy independence to dependence on foreign sources, is paying Russia about $22 million a day for its oil.
“Biden policies are funding the Russia war machine at this point,” Tiffany said.