Propane industry part of coalition supporting Line 5 litigation

February 15, 2022 By    

A coalition of energy product transporters and manufacturers, including propane industry stakeholders, is supporting litigation to keep open the Enbridge Line 5 light oil and natural gas liquids pipeline serving Michigan, the surrounding states and Canada.

The coalition, representing retail propane marketers, propane and crude oil pipeline operators, and gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and industrial raw materials manufacturers, filed an amicus brief in federal district court in support of litigation to block Michigan’s attempt to shut down the pipeline.

The brief was filed as part of the litigation between Enbridge and the state of Michigan in response to a November 2020 order issued by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down the pipeline. Whitmer maintains that Line 5 poses a threat to the Great Lakes.

According to the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, the amicus brief reiterates federal law through the Pipeline Safety Act preempts Michigan’s attempts to shut down an interstate pipeline because Congress granted the federal government exclusive authority to regulate interstate pipeline safety.

“Attempts by Michigan’s governor to shut down the Line 5 pipeline not only will lead to major energy shortages in the region and severe economic consequences for Michigan, neighboring states and Canada, but it is unlawful and a violation of federal law,” says Andy Black, president and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines.

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and four state propane associations (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) signed the amicus brief.

“Line 5’s continued operation is crucial to reliably heating homes in Michigan and surrounding states,” says Steve Kaminski, president and CEO of NPGA. “The environmental benefits and relative affordability of propane – recognized by the EPA as a clean, alternative fuel – perfectly positions it to accelerate decarbonization and ensure equitable access to clean energy.”

In addition to violating federal law, Michigan’s attempts to shut down Line 5 would deprive the entire region of the energy to stay warm, make products and fuel transportation, according to the Association of Oil Pipe Lines.

“Energy infrastructure like Line 5 continues to provide much-needed propane and other fuels to Americans across the country during long winters, along with millions of private investment and tax dollars and thousands of jobs,” says Robin Rorick, vice president of midstream policy at the American Petroleum Institute.

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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