In the wake of gasoline prices nearly tripling since last year, the Biden administration is reportedly considering shutting down a 78-year-old oil pipeline in Michigan.
Michigan’s liberal governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) has allied with the twelve federally recognized American Indian tribes in Michigan in their desire to shut down the pipeline – known as Line 5 – which is owned and operated by Canadian company Enbridge.
Citing the 1836 Treaty of Washington, Whitmer revoked and terminated Enbridge’s easement with the state last fall and ordered a Line 5 shutdown by the spring. The company is resisting, and a federal judge is currently determining if litigation will take place in federal or state court.
This is the first time Democrats in the state of Michigan have cited 19th century treaties to advocate for the removal of the pipeline, and the attempt at removal contradicts a 1977 treaty between Canada and the United States that protects the free flow of oil between the two countries.
The push to close another oil pipeline comes at a time when the Biden administration has already cancelled the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and Americans are paying three times what they were paying for gas in 2020 and the president is asking OPEC to increase oil production.