As I see it, we are now in the ego stare down segment of the Line 5 envirodrama. People with Placards (herein and forever after referred to as PWP’s) fervoursly and feverously proclaim that there’s “No Messin’ with Gretchen.” This, of course, in reference to the governor’s order that Line 5 be shut down forever as of a week from now.
I will not attempt to summarize or repeat the warnings of the dangers this closure may have on consumers and refiners on both sides of the border, which have been the subject of 11 of these Weekly Energy Reports beginning with the November 19, 2020 issue.
As there are two sides to a story, there are also two sides to a border.
I would ask all PWPs how they will cope with the additional 2,150 tanker trucks per day required to supply propane to consumers in Michigan. Then I would ask them where they’re going to find the extra 7,500 drivers for these trucks?
This increase in road transport traffic will add 500,000 transport miles per month.
The perceived, but hard to verify, increase in carbon emissions should strike fear in the hearts of all green left leaning politicians on both sides of the border.
Then perhaps we should consider the consumer when it comes to prices at the pump for gasoline and the rack for the diesel commercial sector.
The Line 5 closure will choke off 1,050,000 bpd of crude to U.S. refiners in the Midwest, especially Marathon’s facility in Detroit.
If the Line is closed next week, pump prices will spike dramatically over night.
On the Canadian side of the equation, the closure will shut down 393,000 bpd of refined product production in the Sarnia refining hub and because Line 5 eventually supplies the Suncor refinery in Montreal, prices will jump to unknown heights in Quebec as well.
What will be the outcome next week.
We have to leave it to the political amphibians who don’t like it too hot or too cold just somewhere in the middle, while we the consumers are a left in a puddle of muddle.
– Roger McKnight – B.Sc., Senior Petroleum Analyst