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Michigan Judge Sides with Enbridge (Again) In Blow to Key Biden Ally Gov. Whitmer

Economy Aug 18, 2022 14:42
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By Ketki Saxena 

Investing.com A Michigan judge has ruled in favour of Enbridge Inc (TSX:ENB). in its long-standing dispute against the State of Michigan over the Line 5 cross-border pipeline.

In her ruling, Judge Janet Neff says the case belongs in federal court, as has long been requested by Enbridge, and in a blow to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s bid to shut down the pipeline.

Whitmer, a Democrat and close ally of President Joe Biden, ordered the shutdown of Line 5 back in November 2020, fearing a spill in the Straits of Mackinac, where the pipeline crosses the Great Lakes.

Enbridge has since then been pushed back hard, arguing that Whitmer and state Attorney General Dana Nessel had overstepped their jurisdiction and that the case needed to be heard in federal court. 

Late last year, District Court Judge Janet Neff agreed with Enbridge on the issue of jurisdictions, making today’s decision the second time in nine months that Judge Neff has sided with Enbridge on the issue.

The Line 5 pipeline ferries upwards of 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids across the Canada-U.S. border. The pipeline is a key source of stock for critical refineries on the northern side of the border and a critical source of energy, especially propane, for several Midwestern states, including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

Proponents for the pipeline, including lawyers for several prominent international unions and labour groups, note the economic importance of line 5, noting that if it “Ceases operation, the refineries in Michigan, Ohio, Ontario, Quebec and Pennsylvania will lose 40 percent of their crude supply and, with that reduction in product, will either close completely or become significantly less competitive.”.

Critics, largely pro-environmental groups, want the contentious pipeline line shut down, believing an anchor strike or technical failure could trigger a catastrophe in one of the area’s most important watersheds.

Michigan Judge Sides with Enbridge (Again) In Blow to Key Biden Ally Gov. Whitmer
 

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