(PresidentialInsider.com)- The White House’s press office had to backtrack on statements it made this week on Michigan’s Line 5 pipeline.
On Monday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the deputy press secretary for the White House, initially said it was “inaccurate” that the Biden administration was exploring what the potential impact of shutting down the Line 5 pipeline could have, as the world is dealing with a major energy crisis.
Peter Doocy, a Fox News correspondent, asked at the press briefing why the White House is “now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan” at a time when the prices of gas and oil are skyrocketing out of control.
Jean-Pierre’s quick response was:
“So, Peter, that is inaccurate. That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate.”
“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5.”
Doocy quickly responded again, recognizing that he never asked about whether the Biden administration wanted to shut down the pipeline, just whether they were studied what the effects of doing so would be.
And that led Jean-Pierre to reply:
“Yes, we are. We are. I thought you were saying that we were going to shut it down, but that is not inaccurate. The Army Corps of Engineers is preparing an environmental impact to look through this.”
On Sunday, media outlet Politico reported that the White House was weighing what the potential consequences in the market would be if they shut down that pipeline. Following that report, Congressional Republicans were not happy, with a handful sending Biden a letter that said such a move would be a really bad move, especially as the price of gas has increased roughly 50% around the country.
This is another area where the Biden administration was contradicting itself, too. Politico’s report stated that the White House was taking a look at what the economic impact of shutting down the Line 5 pipeline would be.
At the same time, Jean-Pierre this week said it was going to be a study that focused on the environmental impact of the pipeline. That environmental study has already been underway for a while now, studying a potential replacement for the Line 5 pipeline. However, that’s a completely separate issue than the dispute that’s ongoing between Canada and Michigan about the pipeline that already exists.
The Line 5 pipeline is a part of a large network that move petroleum products and crude oil from the western part of Canada. It transports roughly 540,000 barrels every day through it. Then, that petroleum is taken out from the pipeline in Escanaba, Michigan, for use in the United States.
Maybe the confusion in wording was the fact that the normal press secretary, Jen Psaki, was not present at the briefing this week. Or, maybe it’s just that the Biden administration truly doesn’t know what it is doing with the pipeline.