Canada asks U.S. court to prevent Michigan from shutting down Line 5 pipeline

The federal government is asking a U.S. court to stop the state of Michigan from shutting down a pipeline that supplies fuel to much of Ontario and Quebec. 

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan filed court documents today opposing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s attempt to shut down the pipeline. Whitmer has given Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. until Wednesday to shut down Line 5 — a demand the company says it has no plans to obey.

“Line 5 is essential to our energy security,” O’Regan said in a statement.

“This brief supports the continued mediation between Enbridge and the state of Michigan, underlines that Line 5 is a critical energy and economic link between Canada and the United States, and coveys Canada’s belief that the U.S. federal court is the proper jurisdiction to hear the case between Michigan and Enbridge.”

Line 5, which runs through Michigan from the Wisconsin city of Superior to Sarnia, Ont., crosses the Great Lakes beneath the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which link Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.

Whitmer is seeking to shut down the pipeline over fears that it could cause an oil spill.

A court-ordered negotiation is underway; the two sides are scheduled to meet again May 18, several days after Whitmer’s self-imposed deadline.

The pipeline carries some 540,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil and other petroleum products per day across Wisconsin and Michigan to Sarnia, and accounts for nearly half of the supply of light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil and natural gas liquids in Ontario and Quebec.

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