Line by Line Analysis: Enbridge Radio Ad

“Governor Whitmer wants Line 5 shutdown with no plan to replace the essential energy it delivers.”

  • In 2019, Whitmer created the UP Energy Task Force to deal with changes in energy supply and distribution, such as the closure of an oil pipeline. This is a misleading claim because it insinuates her administration has not developed plans in the event of a shutdown, when in fact the task force has spent the past two years proposing recommendations, with a report already compiled on energy supply and another being released by the end of March 2021. 
  • The claim that Line 5 provides “essential” energy is questionable because it assumes that Michigan relies on its service, which is false (more below). 

“That means a shortage of millions of gallons of fuel every day.” 

  • According to a study by London Economics International, “LEI found that there is enough capacity in existing oil pipelines to make up for the potential losses at Detroit and Toledo-area refineries if Line 5 were decommissioned.” 

“It’s vital energy that heats homes, fuels transportation, and drives our industries. If Line 5 shuts down, struggling Michigan families and small businesses will face higher energy costs.”

  • The same LEI study concluded, “The estimated increased cost to consumers would be a fraction of a cent/gallon, and would be lost in the noise of normal price volatility… Line 5 could be decommissioned with little to no impact on Michigan’s economy.” 
  • Line 5 is essentially a bypass mechanism for Canadian crude oil, with the vast majority of the oil that flows through its pipes never reaching Michigan consumers. About 90 to 95 percent of Line 5 oil and gas gets refined in Toronto, Montreal, and other cities only for Canadian consumption. Moreover, a report from the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities says, “Expanded oil production in North America means there is far more oil being transported through the Great Lakes region than there is capacity to refine it here. Meanwhile, the use of Line 5’s light crude oil in the Midwest has diminished dramatically.”

“If Line 5 shut down, then what? Take action at”

  • Propane retailers in Michigan have long been preparing for a shutdown. Propane retailer Kristopher Bowman, who sits on the task force, said at a January 2021 meeting, “The retailers in the UP have diverse sources and plenty of supply.”