A federal judge in Wisconsin has ordered Enbridge to reroute its Line 5 pipeline around Native American land within three years. The judge also found the Canadian energy giant trespassed on the land and must pay more than $5 million.
The attorney general on Wednesday filed a brief in Wisconsin federal court supporting a Native American tribe’s effort to shut down the Line 5 pipeline over fears of a rupture into a river that runs through tribal land.
Pipeline opponents say there could be a spill, yet they oppose a plan to develop a less risky alternative by building a tunnel. Closing the region’s most important energy provider would harm both the U.S. and Canada.
A tunnel to encase the Line 5 oil and gas pipeline below the Straits of Mackinac was originally supposed to be built by 2024. Instead, construction won’t begin until 2026 due to federal regulators’ delays, if it begins at all.
Joe Biden is making his first presidential visit to Canada this week. He can be silent no longer as Canada supports the efforts of Enbridge Energy to keep its aging oil and gas pipeline flowing through the Straits of Mackinac.
Whitmer wants to close Line 5, prepare for climate change, watchdog industrial polluters and update water safety. Dixon wants Line 5 open, regulations cut and a state that treats businesses like customers, not adversaries.
A federal judge ruled the attorney general’s suit seeking a Line 5 pipeline shutdown should be heard in federal court. Nessel wanted the matter kept in state court, where she saw a more secure path to victory.
The Michigan Public Service Commission voted to collect more evidence on safety and explosion risks before deciding whether to grant the Canadian energy company a key permit to begin the tunnel project in the Straits of Mackinac.
Republicans want to suspend the state’s 27-cent-per-gallon gas tax for six months, a relief for drivers but that would cost the state $770 million. Some Democrats want to halt the 6-percent sales tax on gasoline instead.
The Michigan Public Service Commission included climate change impact as it considers Enbridge Energy's request to move its Line 5 oil pipeline from the lake bed of the Mackinac Straits to a proposed tunnel under the Straits.
A report commissioned by a Canadian environmental group argues that the loss of oil and natural gas to the Midwest from a Line 5 shutdown can be made up through increased use of trains, trucks and another pipeline, which Enbridge disputes.
When Attorney General Dana Nessel dropped a federal lawsuit over the fate of Line 5 and reactivated a mothballed state-level suit, she had hoped for better odds before a state judge. Enbridge wants to undermine that strategy.
Attorney General Dana Nessel has dropped the state’s federal suit against Enbridge. But Nessel, at the request of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, has reactivated a state court suit seeking to shutdown the oil pipeline.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Line 5 closed a year ago, citing safety concerns. The Biden administration is now involved. But chances of an imminent shutdown appear slim. We lay out some of the hurdles.