AG Dana Nessel Takes Action Against Enbridge Over Line 5 Pipeline

“In the six months since I took office I have not learned of any new information which would alleviate my concerns,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “If anything I am now more concerned than ever with the continued operation of Line 5.”

A big turning point in the Line 5 saga today.

Attorney General Dana Nessel taking legal action to decommission the pipeline.

In November 2017, Enbridge reached its first agreement with the state.

In it, they agreed to assess replacing the pipeline and make safety enhancements.

Then, in June 2018, Enbridge released their assessment, which found that a tunnel under the straits was feasible.

Last December, Enbridge reached another agreement with the state, agreeing to build an underground tunnel.

That came during the last two weeks of former governor Rick Snyder’s tenure.

With Governor Whitmer renegotiating the building of a tunnel, the company filed suit with the state’s court of claims on June 6th.

But Thursday, Nessel filed a motion to dismiss that lawsuit and in turn, filed a lawsuit against Enbridge in Ingham County Circuit Court.

That lawsuit seeks to halt the movement of oil through the Line 5 tunnel.

“It’s my role to protect and preserve the health safety and welfare of all our state’s residents. I have consistently stated that Enbridge’s pipelines in the straits need to be shut down as soon as possible,” said Nessel.

Attorney General Dana Nessel, taking legal action Thursday to decommission Line 5.

Governor Whitmer and Enbridge had been negotiating a tunnel.

“She tried her best but Enbridge walked away from negotiations and instead filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan,” said Attorney General Nessel.

Thursday, Nessel asked the judge to dismiss that lawsuit and filed a motion that argues the straits corridor authority is unconstitutional and the agreements that give Enbridge the right to continue operation of Line 5 are invalid.

The lawsuit claims Line 5 violates the public trust doctrine and the Michigan Environmental Protection Act because it is likely to cause pollution and destruction of natural resources.

“The continued operation of Line 5 presents an extraordinary unreasonable threat to the public because of the very real risk of further anchor strikes. My lawsuit asked the court to begin that process of a responsible and orderly shutdown of Line 5 that gives potentially affected parties fair notice and a reasonable opportunity to make any necessary adjustments,” said Attorney General Nessel.

Enbridge says they are, “disappointed the State chose not to accept our offer to advance talks on the Straits tunnel.”

Their statement alleges the state ignored Enbridge’s offer to appoint an independent moderator.

Enbridge says “Line 5 is critical infrastructure that Michigan residents depend on every day, and it would be irresponsible to shut it down.”

Now just how do energy needs continue to be met if Line 5 is shut down?

Nessel points to Governor Whitmer’s newly formed UP Energy Task Force for the solution.

To read Nessel’s lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court, click here.

To read Nessel’s motion to dismiss Enbridge’s lawsuit, click here.