In another united showing of support for the integral Line 5 pipeline and plans to build the Great Lakes Tunnel, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce and four statewide chambers – the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce – have filed a joint amicus brief this week in federal court. These leading business organizations represent tens of thousands of employers and millions of workers on both sides of the border.
The Chambers noted that current Russian-Ukraine conflict has added renewed importance on energy security and expedient legal resolution to ensure safe, reliable and affordable access to multiple energy sources, including the pipeline.
The collective brief, through law firm Rivenoak Law Group, made a few key arguments in its filing:
- State officials have taken extraordinary measures to evade federal law by simultaneously withdrawing a court case to enforce their shutdown order, while still leaving the shutdown order in place. The federal court must be able to resolve the question of the legality of Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s order without tactics like this that waste judicial time and resources.
- Orders by state officials, even if unenforced, create real and chilling impacts to businesses that depend on the interstate and international energy economy to function smoothly.
- Leaving the legally challenged shutdown order in place could impede the ability to construct a safer alternative (i.e. the tunnel) and may mean that “oil continues to flow through the Straits of Mackinac for the foreseeable future.”
“Governor Whitmer is wrong to seek the shutdown of Line 5. Now more than ever, consumers and businesses need access to reliable and affordable energy,” said Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President at the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. “Shutting down Line 5 would exacerbate the pain from higher prices and historic inflation and would constrain an already disrupted energy supply. The U.S. Chamber is proud to stand with our state and local Chamber partners and other allies in the U.S. and Canada in this effort.”
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the need for increased energy production from North America, which is developed more responsibly than Russian oil and gas. The PA Chamber of Business and Industry is pleased to join with our state chambers in the Great Lakes region, along with the Canadian and U.S. chambers, in this effort to ensure the safe and reliable flow of energy continues between the United States and our biggest trading partner, Canada,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr. “Line 5 delivers 540,000 barrels per day of oil and natural gas liquids to heat homes and fuel vehicles in parts of the Great Lakes region, including southwestern Pennsylvania. Notably, Line 5 supplies the refineries that produce aviation fuel to Pittsburgh International Airport, and this pipeline’s continued operation is key to energy security, our region’s economy and environmental progress.”
Said Canadian Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Policy and Government Relations Mark Agnew: “At a time of geopolitical uncertainty, energy security has taken on a renewed importance. Given the current disruptions to energy supplies and rapid increases in prices at the pump, we need to be firing on all cylinders to provide consumers with safe and reliable access to a menu of energy sources.”
“The state’s ongoing legal maneuvering and attempt to force a shutdown of Line 5 runs contrary to well-established legal principles and jeopardizes Michigan’s energy security, economy and efforts to strengthen environmental protections along with that of Canada, our fellow Great Lakes states and entire nation – all at a time when we can least afford it,” said Jim Holcomb, president & CEO of the Michigan Chamber. “Building the Great Lakes Tunnel is critical to our state and shared future. We stand together and urge a positive and expedient resolution to the issues before the Court.”
“At a time when the national average for gas is over $4.30 per gallon, policymakers need to look for ways to drive up oil production domestically and in North America. That is why the Ohio Chamber continued our legal efforts to stop Michigan’s Governor from single-handedly stifling oil production in our state,” said Steve Stivers, president & CEO of the Ohio Chamber. “The Line 5 pipeline is a critical part of reducing America’s demand for Russian oil because it accounts for 43 percent of the Great Lakes’ refinery capacity and transports half a million barrels of crude oil per day.”
“Governor Whitmer’s attempt to shut down Line 5 will hit Wisconsin families and businesses with higher energy costs at a time when they can least afford it,” said Scott Manley, WMC Executive Vice President of Government Relations. “WMC calls on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to publicly and forcefully denounce Governor Whitmer’s reckless actions, and demand that she immediately abandon this lawless effort.”
The full brief is available here.
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry: Leslie Gervasio, email@example.com or 717-720-5447
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Matt Letourneau, MLetourneau@USChamber.com or 202-341-8244
Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Phil Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan Chamber of Commerce: Sara Wurfel, email@example.com or 517-599-3470
Ohio Chamber of Commerce: Courtney Whetstone, firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-228-4201
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: Nick Novak, email@example.com