The importance of Enbridge’s Line 5 to the Midwest was one of the topics of discussion when U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH5) hosted a roundtable with members of the Ohio propane and natural gas industry in Perrysburg on Monday.
Enbridge Line 5 conveys petroleum from western Canada to eastern Canada via the Great Lakes states. It is a major oil pipeline in the Enbridge Lakehead System, and is particularly notable for passing under the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.
The future of Line 5 has been often discussed recently. The Biden administration has announced that it is not, for now, supporting the closure of the Line 5 pipeline, which Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has pushed for in recent months on environmental grounds. Instead, the Administration will continue a review by the Army Corps of Engineers and will continue talks about the pipeline’s future with the Canadian government.
The discussion Monday examined the current challenges facing the home heating industry and included representatives from the natural gas and propane industries, including Cindy Reed from Bryan-based Ohio Gas Company. Other topics of discussion besides Line 5 included labor, supply chains, supply and demand, government regulations and transportation.
“Over the last several months, we have seen significant increases in the cost of natural gas and propane,” Latta said in prepared remarks after the meeting. “As cold winter months approach, I wanted to bring together individuals from our community so that we can discuss how increasing costs are impacting folks right here in the Fifth District as well as possible solutions that would alleviate the burden on Ohioans.”
Also Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted issued a statement urging President Joe Biden to keep Enbridge Line 5 open.
They referenced a report by the Consumer Energy Alliance stating that the closure of the Enbridge Line 5 would have widespread implications for the economies of Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania, including a $20.8 billion loss in economic activity; $2.36 billion in foregone labor earnings in salary, wages and benefits; 33,755 lost jobs; and $265.7 million lower annual state tax revenues.
“Any disruption in Line 5 operations would have a devastating impact on the economy of northwest Ohio, further harming industry supply chains, eliminating thousands of good-paying jobs and increasing the cost of fuel for transportation, heat for homes and products Americans use every day,” DeWine and Husted’s statement said.
Participants in the hour-long Latta roundtable included Joe and Chris Buschur from McMahan’s Bottle Gas, Gary Bozigar from Bergquist, Inc., Allen Dunlap from Marshall Excelsior Company, Joe Henry from Crestwood LP, Tyler Lawrence from National Propane Gas Association, Derek Dalling from Ohio Propane Gas Association, Jimmy Stewart from Ohio Gas Association and representatives from Dominion and Columbia Gas.