Sci-tech

Line 5 fight shows age of oil isn't over

Line 5 fight shows age of oil isn't over”

The company had previously pledged to keep the pipeline running.

Political "brinksmanship" in MI risks allowing Enbridge Inc.to abandon plans for a $500-million tunnel that would protect an ecologically sensitive Great Lakes waterway from the controversial Line 5 pipeline, business leaders warned Wednesday. For a governor to issue an ultimatum to shut down an essential oil and gas pipeline that serves much of the North American heartland is a frightful idea, unprecedented, and simply outside her authority.

O'Regan Jr. wrote in a statement responding to the Canadian Government's filing of an amicus brief that "Under the federal court's order, Enbridge and MI have entered into a mediation process and are meeting regularly". On its way, its twin pipes lie exposed on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, a channel of choppy waters that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Line 5 has not leaked into the Great Lakes, but it has spilled crude oil and natural gas elsewhere along its route.

Another Enbridge pipeline caused a massive spill into the Kalamazoo River in 2010.

But Enbridge maintains the underwater section of the pipeline is safe, and an upgraded replacement has already been approved.

"The Governor acted within her authority to revoke and terminate the easement and our department is actively pursuing the matter in court".

When questioned on whether President Joe Biden has been in contact with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the potential closing of Line 5 in Michigan, Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied "it's in the courts".

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The so-called "chambers brief" followed a similar filing Tuesday by the federal Liberal government, a rare global foray into US legal proceedings, that urged the court to keep the pipeline running and the two sides to reach a settlement.

The summary is the result of coordinated action between Ottawa and the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. They accused the company of flouting the law and endangering the world's largest freshwater system.

It's unlikely that anything is going to be decided until a judge in either state or US federal court makes a decision, a process that could take several months, said James Coleman, a pipeline law expert and associate professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

The United States is obliged to give a 10-year notice to Canada of closure of the pipeline, which brings 540,000 barrels-per-day of oil into Canada.

"Nothing immediately changes without an order from the court", Coleman said.

Though Canada and Enbridge might have a plausible case, it's unclear how that could actually play out in court, Coleman said. Our amicus brief, submitted by three state chambers and two national chambers, emphasizes the importance of economic security for the court's deliberation.



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