Michigan Governor Seeks Shutdown of Great Lakes Oil Pipeline
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took legal action Friday to shut down a pipeline that carries oil beneath a channel that links two of the Great Lakes.
Whitmer’s office notified the Canadian company that it was revoking an easement granted in 1953 to extend a roughly 4-mile section of the pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac. The revocation will take effect within 180 days, at which point the flow of oil must stop.
The Democratic governor’s legal counsel said in a letter to Enbridge that the revocation resulted from “a violation of the public trust doctrine” and “a longstanding, persistent pattern of noncompliance with easement conditions and the standard of due care.”
The move escalates a multiyear battle over Line 5, which is part of Enbridge’s Lakehead network of pipelines that carries oil from western Canada to refineries in the U.S. and Ontario. The pipeline carries about 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids daily between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.
The company says the underwater segment is in good condition has never leaked. Environmental groups contend it’s vulnerable to a rupture that would devastate portions of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.
Also, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she filed a lawsuit Friday to terminate the easement and shut down the line, saying the action shows that “Line 5 poses a great risk to our state, and it must be removed from our public waterways.”