A Federal Judge Rejects Michigan’s ‘Unfair’ Bid To Transfer The Line 5 Lawsuit To State Court!

On Thursday, Janet Neff (US District Judge) has not accepted the request to move  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration’s supported lawsuit related to a plea to shut down the Line 5 Oil pipeline to the state court. 

For the second time, Neff chose to keep the case in federal court and adjourn the court hearing. The Canadian Oil transportation had a second time requested to move the case to the state court. This was an effort to manipulate the forum and engage in procedural fencing. 

A Federal Judge Rejects Michigan’s ‘Unfair’ Bid To Transfer The Line 5 Lawsuit To State Court

Further, Neff had said that the controversy should be litigated in the federal court as it has been a national-level issue at play for a long. The pipeline runs at the straits of Mackinac’s Great lakes waters. 

A Federal Judge Rejects Michigan's 'Unfair' Bid To Transfer The Line 5 Lawsuit To State Court

Line 5 is the part of the biggest network that moves the natural gas liquids used in propane and Canadian oil to various refineries in two nations. The length of this line is approximately 645 miles between Ontario, Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarna. 

Nessel and Whitmer believe and agrees with the ingenious tribes and the environmental groups that there is a spill risk due to the 6.4 Km segment below the Straits of Mackinac to different lakes like Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. In 2020, the government demanded that the Alberta-and-Calgary-based company shut down this line.

Enbridge, the company behind Line 5, is backed by the Canadian government as there was a treaty signed between them and the US in 1977 that there would be a cross-border flow of natural gas and oil. Biden is in discussion with the Canadian officials about the matter.

Soon after Neff had retained the jurisdiction, Whitmer had dropped down from the case. Now there are two pending lawsuits, one by Enbridge and the other by Nessaels suit. 

Nessel had contested a 1953 agreement that Michigan had approved to build a pipeline across state lines. She asserted that it goes against the common law doctrine, or “public trust,” intended to prevent contamination of the water in the Great Lakes.

Neff’s ruling is criticized for repeating arguments to apply state law. According to her, shifting the Line 5 lawsuit to state court and another to federal court is absurd. Also further, she had accursed Nessel’s team for manipulating the forum. 

Enbridge said it will replace Line 5’s underwater segment in the straits tunnel. Soon the company would apply for federal and state permits. On Thursday, a federal judge rejects Michigan’s ‘Unfair’ bid to transfer the Line 5 lawsuit to state court.

US Army Corps Engineers are studying this case and preparing an environmental impact study. Monday, the Corps announced a 60-day public comment period.

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