Enbridge files to have state lawsuit moved to federal court


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Enbridge has requested Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s lawsuit be moved to federal court.

Michigan had dropped a federal lawsuit weeks ago in order to focus on one it was hoping to keep in state court.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has pulled Enbridge’s permits to operate Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, but the company continues to run it. The Canadian company has cited a federal treaty — the 1977 Transit Pipeline Treaty — that guarantees the uninterrupted flow of petroleum products between the two countries.

“The removal of the Attorney General’s case to federal court follows a November 16, 2021 ruling which held that the similar (and now dismissed) lawsuit brought by the Governor to force Line 5’s shutdown raised important federal issues and should be heard in federal court,” Enbridge said in a statement.

In a Wednesday statement, Nessel called the move “outrageous.”

“This is an outrageous maneuver by Enbridge that flies in the face of federal law, which clearly establishes the process to remove a suit must be initiated within 30 days. We will address this flagrant attempt to undermine that process in court and remain fervently committed to our belief that the fate of Michigan’s greatest natural resources should be determined in a Michigan court. Our residents deserve more than a company who seeks to profit from our natural resources while at the same time attempting to evade legal review of their actions by our state’s courts.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

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