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Sen. Roth looks for ways to rebuild fuel pipeline

 

State Sen. Roger Roth is looking for help to rebuild a fuel pipeline that use to serve Northeast Wisconsin.

The West Shore Pipe Line Company closed the line in 2016 after it was determined extensive repairs were needed to fix it.

For the past year, fuel trucks have been used to import fuel to the area.

Roth explained having all those fuel trucks on the roads could be dangerous.

"Winters here in Wisconsin are treacherous, thank God we have not had the kind of ice storm, or the disaster with a truck that could result in a fuel spill," he said.

Roth is looking at ways to rebuild the 110-mile West Shore pipeline which runs from Milwaukee to Green Bay.

He said it could cost up to $200 million to build a new pipeline.

"They've already got the easements, they already have the right of ways, the trouble is they already have a pipe in the ground that was built in the early 1960's, and it's to the point now where it is not serviceable anymore," Roth explained.

The West Shore Pipe Line Company closed the line in March of 2016 for repairs.

In May 2016, Gov. Scott Walker issued an executive order allowing fuel truck drivers to work extra hours in order to transport fuel and prevent gasoline shortages.

Then in June 2016, West Shore announced it would not re-open the line.

"We have to have a long term solution, and to me, I see that as rebuilding the pipeline that we have," explained Roth.

"It costs more to transport by truck than it does via pipeline," said Erin Roth, with the American Petroleum Institute.

Erin Roth said there hasn't been a spike in gas prices since the pipeline closed.

He explained building a new pipeline could take up to two years and said that is if all the permits are approved.

"There is always that component with pipelines, where whether it's new construction or a rebuild like the West Shore, you will have land owners and environmentalist opposed to fossil fuels making some protests against it," explained Roth.

FOX 11 reached out to the West Shore Pipe Line Company for comment and did not hear back.

Sen. Roth said he is meeting with West Shore next week.