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Michigan’s Congressional Republicans urge Biden to support Line 5

Kaye LaFond

Fifteen members of Congress, including five republicans from Michigan, are asking President Joe Biden to support the Line 5 oil pipeline.

During his first days in office President Biden revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, stopping its construction.

This week U.S. Representatives Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet), Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Twp.), Tim Walberg (R-Tipton), Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) signed a letter on Michigan’s most controversial pipeline.

In it they urge President Biden to stay away from Line 5, saying its shutdown would be catastrophic to the energy needs and economy of the region.

"The reduced fuel supply from shutting down Line 5 would permanently shutter refineries in Ohio and Michigan, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars in annual economic output," the lawmakers wrote.

Tribal nations and environmental groups dispute those claims, and say the risk of an oil spill in the Great Lakes is too high to keep the pipeline running.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has given Enbridge, the company behind the pipeline, until May 12 to shut it down. They’re currently fighting the shutdown in court.

Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a reporter and quickly took on leadership roles as Interim News Director and eventually Assignment Editor. Before joining IPR, Max worked as a news director and reporter at Michigan State University's student radio station WDBM. In 2018, he reported on a Title IX dispute with MSU in his story "Prompt, Thorough and Impartial." His work has also been heard on Michigan Radio, WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing and NPR.