Michigan Pipeline Closure Could Boost Railroads

The closing of a pipeline in Michigan has opened opportunities for railroads to pick up business shipping proponel by rail.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken action that could result in the Embridge Line 5 pipeline closing in May.

The closure follows Whitmer’s revoking the easement used by the 67-year-old pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.

News reports indicated that propane suppliers that rely on the pipeline have begun to transition to receiving gas by rail.

Although some companies have already begun to switch to rail deliveries, for others it will be a costly process because they will need to build new rail sidings.

There is also the prospect of a shortage of rail cars as demand for rail deliveries rises.

Embridge is challenging the governor’s action and has said it won’t shut down the pipeline unless ordered to do so by a court.

Some suppliers have said they will not commit to receiving propane by rail until they see how the legal battle plays out.

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