Enbridge’s Attempt to Get into Federal Court Is Two Years Too Late

Since June 2019, Enbridge has agreed that  state court is the proper venue for litigating Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s lawsuit that seeks to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac under public trust and state environmental laws. That was until Wednesday, when the Canadian pipeline company filed a legal notice suddenly seeking to remove that lawsuit to federal court.

“The statutory deadline for removing this case to federal court passed over two years ago,” said Zach Welcker, Legal Director at FLOW, the Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City. “Enbridge is making a frivolous argument that a federal court’s recent jurisdictional ruling in a separate case should give it another bite at the apple, but the apple is long gone as a matter of civil procedure.”

It’s yet another example of Enbridge, which is actively defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lawful order to shut down Line 5, flouting the law.

“This is Enbridge’s most egregious delay tactic to date. We hope the court rejects this maneuver and quickly puts an end to Enbridge’s gamesmanship.,” said FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood, an environmental attorney. “ Line 5 is a ticking time bomb that threatens the Great Lakes, shoreline communities, the drinking water supply, and thousands of jobs that depend on clean water and tourism.”

Background from FLOW:

For more information, see FLOW’s Line 5 fact sheets and blogs:

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