Joe Biden is drawing criticism for proposing to shut down a major oil pipeline in Michigan one day after his climate change plan was released.
The president said he would consider shutting down the Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes to protect the environment. The move comes after an advisory panel sent Biden a report suggesting he shut it down, which was later signed off on by his campaign. Critics of the plan say closing the pipeline could lead to energy shortages during the winter months.
The 645-mile pipeline is situated in the Great Lakes, transporting up to 540,000 barrels of fuel per day. The line was completed in 1953 and has had over 1,500 leaks since it began operation.
Line 5 is part of a pipeline network that transports about 540,000 barrels of oil each day from Western Canada to refineries in the United States. Petroleum is extracted from the line in Escanaba, Michigan.
The line is also notable for passing under the ecologically sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.
Biden’s plan for energy includes moving to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050; doubling clean energy research funding; building the Green New Deal across the European Union and building a clean economy that creates high-quality union jobs.
Climate change activists welcomed his plan, but they also pushed him to support Senator Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal proposal.
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Biden’s energy secretary, says, “This is completely predictable,” saying that heating costs would rise regardless of the Biden administration’s decision on the pipeline. “Yes, it will happen. This year will be more expensive than last year,” Granholm added in an interview with CNN.
Biden’s campaign manager Greg Schultz said this week that the candidate “supports” the Green New Deal but is still reviewing it.
The campaign has not commented on the possibility of closing down Line 5.