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:
- Key Context on Federal Lawsuit:
- 30, 2021 – FLOW: State of Michigan Takes a Strategic Step Today in the Race to Prevent a ‘Line 5’ Oil Spill – FLOW
- 16, 2021 — FLOW Deeply Disappointed in Court Decision Today Leaving State of Michigan’s Lawsuit to Shut Down ‘Line 5’ in Federal Court, Denying the State’s Request – FLOW
- 25, 2020 — Enbridge’s Federal Lawsuit Attacks State Authority to Protect the Great Lakes from Line 5 – FLOW
- Recent Line 5 Analysis:
- State’s Line 5 Shutdown Deadline:
- Reality Check:
- Whitmer’s Line 5 Shutdown Order & Reaction:
For more information, see FLOW’s Line 5 fact sheets and blogs:
- FLOW’s Program on Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac
- FLOW’s Line 5 Fact Sheets:
- FLOW’s Blog Coverage: Line 5 blogs providing news & analysis.