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Judge sides with Enbridge against Michigan’s bid to halt Line 5 pipeline

Canadian company's proposed Line 5 oil tunnel faced pushback

Une manifestante brandit une bannière pour réclamer la fin de l'utilisation de la canalisation 5.

L'opposition à l'exploitation de la canalisation 5 au Michigan remonte à de nombreuses années.

Photo: Associated Press / The Grand Rapids Press/Cory Morse


A Michigan judge has ruled in favour of Enbridge Inc. in its long-standing dispute with the state over the Line 5 cross-border pipeline.

In her ruling on Thursday, Judge Janet Neff said the case belongs in federal court — a blow to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's bid to shut down the pipeline.

It's the second time in nine months that Neff has sided with Enbridge on the question of jurisdiction.

Whitmer has been trying since November 2020 to shut down Line 5 for fear of a spill in the Straits of Mackinac, between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas, where the pipeline crosses the Great Lakes.

Proponents, including Canada's federal government, call Line 5 a vital and indispensable source of energy for Ontario, Quebec and several Midwestern states.

Environmental activists fear an anchor strike or technical failure could trigger a catastrophe in one of the area's most important watersheds.

The Canadian Press