State Representatives Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester) today provided an update on House Resolution 13, a resolution that encourages Michigan Governor Whitmer to keep Enbridge Line 5 operating. House Resolution 13’s companion bill in the Ohio Senate, Senate Resolution 41, was heard today in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senators Teresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) provided sponsor testimony.
“We saw what last weeks’ cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline and the resulting loss of gasoline did to the Southeastern and Eastern regions of the United States,” said Rep. Sheehy. “This crisis reinforced the importance of the United States’ energy distribution network and our ability to easily access gasoline. To willingly shut down a source of energy that provides thousands of jobs and heating for homes across the Midwest region is shortsighted at best and negligent at worst. We live in a vastly different world than 20 years ago, and we need more creative solutions to rise to the challenges of these cyber-attacks and other new technological realities. I am urging Governor Whitmer to reverse course on her Line 5 policies and allow the pipeline to safely operate until the Line 5 Tunnel is completed.”
According to the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), Ohio could lose up to $13.7 billion in economic activity, $147.9 million in state revenue and over 20,000 jobs from the shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline.
“It’s a step in the right direction to see the House Resolution’s companion resolution have its first hearing in the Senate today, but there’s still a lot more ahead of us,” said Rep. Baldridge. “This is a time where we should be taking a big picture and global approach to energy policy because one sided partisan decision making certainly does not capture the whole picture. Governor Whitmer continues to escalate her poor policy decision making at a time when the wide-ranging impact of energy insecurity in this country is at the front of our minds. The cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline is deeply felt throughout our Country’s Southeast Region and the Michigan Governor’s actions this week regarding Enbridge’s Line 5 regardless of these events show that she dangerously underestimates the scope of her decision. Ohio’s workers and consumers should not be relegated to political casualties. I continue to emphatically urge Governor Whitmer to end this short-sighted conflict and allow Line 5 to continue to safely operate.”
House Resolution 13 was adopted by the Ohio House in March after passing out of the House Transportation & Public Safety Committee with broad bipartisan support. In April, Baldridge testified on behalf of the resolution in the Michigan Senate’s Energy Committee. Senate Resolution 41 will continue to have hearings in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Michigan Governor Whitmer’s order to shut down the pipeline is scheduled to go into effect tonight at midnight, but Enbridge has said repeatedly that it won’t stop the flow of fossil fuels through Line 5 until a court or federal regulatory makes them do so.