Canada Ready to Intervene to Save Enbridge's Line 5 Pipeline, Minister Says
By Paul Vieira
OTTAWA--Canada said Thursday it was prepared to do whatever is
necessary to save Enbridge Inc.'s Line 5 pipeline, which the state
of Michigan has ordered shut down because of the risk of a spill in
the Great Lakes.
Line 5 carries more than half a million barrels of oil and
natural-gas liquids each day from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia,
Ontario, and part of the corridor runs under the Straits of
Mackinac, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. In November,
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she was revoking Enbridge's
permit, arguing the Calgary pipeline operator violated public trust
and cited "the unreasonable risk" the pipeline poses to the Great
Lakes. She gave the company until May 12 to shut the pipeline.
Seamus O'Regan, Canada's natural resources minister, said the
country is pursuing every legal option to keep the pipeline
operating. Shutting it down would pose a serious risk to Canada's
energy security and lead to thousands of job losses on both sides
of the U.S.-Canada border, he said.
"A shutdown of Line 5 would have profound consequences in Canada
and the U.S," he told lawmakers at a Canadian legislative committee
examining relations between the U.S. and Canada. "We are fighting
for Line 5 on every front. ... We will be absolutely prepared and
ready to intervene at the precise moment." He declined to elaborate
on the government's legal strategy.
Local officials in Canada have warned the pipeline's closure
would push up prices for gasoline, home heating oil, and jet fuel
supplied to Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
Mr. O'Regan added Line 5's closure could force the shutdown of
two refineries in Toledo, Ohio, and cause a daily propane shortage
in Michigan of about 750,000 gallons.
He said he spoke this week to newly confirmed Energy Secretary
Jennifer Granholm -- a former governor of Michigan and born in
Canada -- about the fate of the project. "I expressed to her the
serious threats to our energy security."
The Line 5 row is the latest point of friction between the U.S.
and Canada over a pipeline. On his first day in office, President
Biden revoked Keystone XL's permit, hence shutting down the
construction on the project that envisaged carrying western
Canadian crude oil to refineries in the Gulf Coast.
Mr. O'Regan said Thursday the Liberal government remained "very
disappointed" about Keystone's fate.
Write to Paul Vieira at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 04, 2021 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
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