The state of Michigan is now dropping its federal lawsuit against oil company Enbridge over the Line 5 pipeline and will instead focus its efforts on a separate lawsuit that was filed in state court. This move followed a decision from earlier this month where a federal judge denied the state of Michigan's motion to have the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline case sent back to state court. This outcome bodes well for Enbridge, which claims that the state overstepped its authority in ordering the pipeline's shutdown.
Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to help keep the pipeline open. The Biden administration has indicated that they do not intend to shut down the pipeline at this time.
The legal battles between the state of Michigan and Enbridge are still ongoing. In September, Michigan walked away from court ordered mediation, characterizing the talks as unproductive. Last month, the Canadian government invoked the 1977 US-Canada treaty concerning the transshipment of energy. "Line 5 is a top priority for Canada," said Lama Khodr, a spokesperson for Canada's foreign ministry. "Canada's objective remains to work with the U.S. in these formal treaty negotiations to seek a solution where Line 5 remains open and operating safely."
OCTC has supported the continued operation of line 5 in numerous testimonies and public comments. OCTC has also summitted comments in support of the proposed replacement pipeline, which is currently in the permitting process in Michigan. OCTC recognizes that Enbridge Line 5 is a critical piece of infrastructure for transporting crude oil and natural gas liquids to destinations in the U.S. and Canada. Pipelines are both the safest and most cost-effective way to move crude oil and petroleum products, that ultimately become vehicle and aviation fuels as well as petrochemical feedstocks vital to Ohio's chemistry industry. OCTC will continue advocating for the ongoing safe operation of the line.