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Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel has threatened to “use every resource available” to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline that runs under the Straits of Macinac, in a statement on Monday.
Nessel was responding to media inquiries regarding her position on the oil pipeline and its fate.
“I respect the Governor’s effort to find a swift and straightforward resolution to this issue but if unsuccessful I will use every resource available to our office to shut down Line 5 to protect our Great Lakes.”
Just a month ago, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a halt to the work on a tunnel beneath the Straits as part of the plan to replace a section of Line 5, after Nessel voiced her opinion that the bill that allowed the construction of the tunnel violated the state’s constitution because “it went beyond what the bill’s title reflected.”
Enbridge has long held the stance that replacing this section of Line 5 is the only way to lower the risk of oil leaking into Lakes Huron and Michigan to nearly zero.
Michigan Legislature approved in December 2018 the pipeline project that would see the 65-year-old line replaced, but the battle for the fate of the pipeline remains.
The original project was expected to take between seven and ten years to complete, although environmental activists and lawmakers may see this timeline pushed back or canceled.
Opponents of the pipeline replacement argue that moving oil and natural gas under the Straits of Macinac poses undue risk to the massive freshwater lakes that Michigan relies on, while proponents argue that replacing an aging line is better than doing nothing at all.
Governor Whitmer called for the complete decommissioning of Line 5 on her campaign trail, but last month declined to rule out the possibility of Enbridge encasing a new line in a tunnel deep underneath the Straits.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.