Study: Line 5 Closure Poses Serious Threats to Michigan Economy | State

(The Center Square) – It doesn’t look like the ongoing legal standoff between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration and developers of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline spanning the Straits of Mackinac will be resolved anytime soon.

However, an independent study published last month by the American Petroleum Institute adds fuel to the fire by detailing the negative economic impacts if the governor was successful in his efforts to shut down Line 5.

The natural gas and petroleum industry supports 250,800 jobs in Michigan, according to the API study released July 20. Additionally, API says the industry generates $ 28.5 billion annually for Michigan’s economy. A portion of $ 345 million of this total contributes to state conservation funding.

The API-commissioned study was prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers and relies on government data derived from national, state, and congressional district sources. The total impact of the oil and gas industry on U.S. GDP was nearly $ 1.7 trillion in 2019, nearly 8% of the national total for that year.

In addition, the industry supported approximately 11.3 million jobs in the United States during the same period, which corresponds to 5.6% of the total American workforce. As a group, these workers are estimated to make $ 893 billion in wages.

“As the US economy returns, the oil and gas industry will serve as the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said in a statement.

“Every state in the country – the blue states and the red states – depend on US energy to power every sector of the economy and support millions of jobs in the US,” Sommers continued. “This study reinforces the fact that America’s economic outlook is brighter when we are the world leaders in power generation, and it is a reminder of what is at stake if policymakers restrict access to affordable and reliable energy. and make us more dependent on foreign sources. “

In addition to the economic impacts and nationwide employment opportunities, the oil and gas industry offers benefits to Michigan businesses and homes. The propane transported through Enbridge’s Line 5 is the primary fuel source for 65% of the Upper Peninsula and 50% of the state’s propone as a whole.

“Michigan has not experienced the same price spikes and supply shortages that most of the United States is experiencing, in large part due to the continued operation of Enbridge’s Line 5,” said Mike Moeller, Enbridge’s director of operations for the Great Lakes region, in a statement. .

“This begs the question why the Whitmer administration is trying to shut down a safe and reliable pipeline – an action that would sure trigger local fuel shortages and price hikes while exacerbating the situation most of the United States is in. currently facing. “