Canada Hits Back Against Whitmer’s Call to Withdraw Permits from Line 5

Last week, Canadian government officials submitted a court filing once again asking for litigation against Line 5 pipeline in Michigan to be suspended as diplomatic talks continue.

As detailed in a recent ALEC article, the shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline would be detrimental to the regional economy – both in the U.S. and in Canada – and would produce little to no environmental benefit.

The letter detailed the ongoing biweekly meetings between U.S. and Canadian officials – meetings which Michigan Attorney-General Dana Nessel had previously argued are inconsequential in the case.

The pipeline litigation is currently in the hands of U.S. District Judge Janet Neff, who is set to decide on whether the State of Michigan v. Enbridge will be tried in federal or state court – a decision that could dramatically impact the results of the case.

Last week’s letter comes after the Canadian government filed a brief of amicus curiae in May on behalf of Enbridge, the Canadian oil company that operates the pipeline. The brief called for the lawsuit to be held in abeyance while discussions between U.S. and Canadian government officials, including talks on the implications of the 1977 Treaty between the two countries, are underway.

It appears that some Canadian government officials fear the economic consequences of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s move to decommission the Line 5 pipeline. Here in the U.S., the Consumer Energy Alliance estimates that the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania would lose over 33,750 jobs and $265 million in annual state tax revenue should the pipeline shut down. It is vital for U.S. policymakers to understand the ramifications of her decision as well.