Whitmer halts work on Line 5 after AG ruling

Posted at 4:01 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 20:12:55-04

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered state departments and agencies to take no further action on legislation enacted in late 2018 authorizing construction of an oil pipeline tunnel beneath lakes Huron and Michigan.

Whitmer made the decision after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel deemed  a 2018 law that established a panel to oversee construction and operation of an oil pipeline tunnel beneath the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan unconstitutional.

Democrat Dana Nessel says in an opinion released Thursday the title of the bill approved by lawmakers did not accurately describe its contents as required by the Michigan Constitution.

In a statement Thursday evening, Enbridge said it will seek clarification from Whitmer’s administration on a path forward, and Line 5 will continue to “safely operate.”

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure during a lame-duck session in December. Then-Gov. Rick Snyder signed it and appointed members of the new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority, which later approved a deal Snyder’s administration negotiated with Enbridge Inc. to build the tunnel.

It would house a more than 4-mile section of Enbridge’s Line 5, which carries oil and natural gas liquids between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.