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On Saturday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared an energy emergency because of propane delivery delays that jeopardized the heating source for many Michigan homes. The order allows tanker truck drivers to exceed their maximum daily driving limits until Feb. 28.

“With a cold wave gripping the country, our top priority right now is ensuring that Michigan families and businesses have the home heating fuel we need to stay warm,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“While I am confident that our state has the energy supply we need to get through these cold winter days, we aren’t taking any chances after what happened in Texas this week."

However, Republican lawmakers argued Whitmer’s attempted shutdown of Enbridge's Line 5, which Enbridge estimates supplies 65% of propane demand in the Upper Peninsula and 55% of statewide Michigan, would permanently reduce propane access for those same Michiganders.

Michigan has the largest residential hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) consumption nationwide, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Total HGL consumption, including propane, is greater in Michigan than in all but five other states, EIA says.

Nearly one in five Upper Peninsula households use propane, and nearly 24% of those living in the northern Lower Peninsula use propane as a primary heating source, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Statewide Energy Assessment.

Line 5 transports up to 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil, light synthetic crude, and natural gas liquids, some of which is refined into propane.

Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, told The Center Square it was a “relief” to see Whitmer keep heat flowing to over 330,000 households “but her continued legal and political attacks on the Line 5 pipeline belies her stated concerns.”

“If the governor is serious about protecting essential energy for Yoopers and rural residents of the northern portions of the Lower Peninsula, she will cease her attempts to shut down Line 5 and work with Enbridge to speed the construction of the Line 5 tunnel,” Hayes said in a statement.

Whitmer’s office didn’t respond to an inquiry of how she plans to heat the Upper Pennisula or the rest of Michigan if she succeeds in halting Line 5 operations.

Rep. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, said Whitmer declaring an energy emergency “proves her politically motivated threats to shut down Line 5 without an adequate replacement are reckless – and could harm families and job providers in Northern Michigan and the U.P.”

“U.P. residents deserve the same energy infrastructure stability and reliability residents in downstate Michigan generally take for granted,” Damoose said in a statement. “I’m hopeful the governor’s emergency declaration – designed to help with the distribution of vitally important propane – is a wake-up call for her. Stop messing with the lives and livelihoods of our people, and let the underground tunnel to replace Line 5 proceed.”

The 68-year-old pipeline has been targeted for shutdown by environmentalists who fear a spill similar to the 2010 oil spill near the Kalamazoo River – the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

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Meghan Speaks About Marrying Into the British Royal Family

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Chrishell Stause defends Meghan Markle after Bethenny Frankel criticism

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“Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause ripped Bethenny Frankel Sunday as a “white housewife” for making critical comments about Meghan Markle before Sunday’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired.

The 39-year-old reality star called out Frankel on Twitter for saying “Cry me a river” about the Duchess of Sussex’s decision to have a tell-all sit-down with Winfrey.

“Not a white housewife comparing her struggle to Meghan’s. A woman of color joining the Royal Family. It’s the delusion for me,” Stause tweeted to Frankel, 50, on Sunday.

“Everyone is working overtime trying to silence her. Let us hear what she has to say!”

Frankel had put out her tweet earlier in the day Sunday, hours before Meghan and Harry’s claims of cruelty and racism in the royal family were aired publicly on CBS.

“Cry me a river,” she wrote, “the plight of being a game show host, fairly unknown actress, to suffering in a palace, w tiaras & 7 figure weddings for TWO WHOLE YEARS to being a household name w @Oprah on speed dial, fetching 7 m for interviews, hundreds of millions in media deals.”

I chose reality tv, to work towards making $, to be scrutinized & criticized.I took the trappings & the beatings along with it. It’s a rose w petals & thorns. People beg to enter the often toxic institution I signed up for. That WAS the life I chose. You can’t play stupid & smart

— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) March 7, 2021

In Sunday’s interview, Markle revealed that she had contemplated suicide during her first pregnancy with son Archie amid the pressures of royal life. She also alleged the royal family raised “concerns” about how dark the color of Archie’s skin might be.

Markle. — whose mother, Doria Ragland, is African-American — did not reveal which member of the family made the alleged comments, but Winfrey said Monday on “CBS: This Morning,” it wasn’t Harry grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Markle, 39, who is also pregnant and expecting a baby girl with Harry, 36, was also asked by Winfrey if she was “silent or silenced” during her time as a royal.

“The latter,” Markle said.

Frankel issued an apology on Sunday following Markle’s interview.

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Bethenny Frankel apologizes for Meghan Markle attack after Oprah interview Bethenny Frankel has apologized for her Twitter tirade attacking Meghan...

“I watched M & H sit down. Emotional distress & racism must feel suffocating & powerless. I’m a polarizing, unfiltered(often to a fault)flawed person w a voice. When I heard of the interview,during a pandemic, it felt like a surprising choice. I’m sorry if it hurt or offended you,” Frankel posted, which didn’t go unnoticed by Stause.

“The privilege here is you never questioned using your voice. And yet you used it on your huge platform to let it be known Meghan should be silenced. When I woke up to your asinine comparison, during a pandemic, it felt like a surprising choice,” Stause tweeted.

Stause also offered her thoughts on Markle and Harry’s “moving interview” with Winfrey.

“Such a moving interview. @Oprah remains the absolute best to ever do it. Love that they got out since it will be better for everyone. So happy Meghan got her voice back after having it silenced. Her voice is one we need more of. Love their love,” Stause tweeted.

Reps for Frankel did not immediately return our request for comment.

Filed under bethenny frankel ,  celebrity social media ,  chrishell stause ,  meghan markle ,  royal family ,  3/8/21

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