ALBERTA — Enbridge says that mediation has begun with Michigan over the governor’s attempt to shut off the company’s Line 5 petroleum pipeline that runs through the state and into Ontario. The company insists the line is safe and that Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her attorney general do not have the authority to close it.
Whitmer last November ordered the line closed in the Straits of Mackinac, the body of water connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, by May 12 — a move jeopardizing a key fuel supply in central Canada.
“The Governor and Attorney General may believe they can shut down Line 5, but Enbridge does not agree,” the company says in a statement issued to Farmers Forum. “Under existing law, the Attorney General does not have a valid basis to terminate the 1953 Easement or shut down the pipeline based on pipeline safety concerns, which are a matter of federal and not state responsibility.
“Further, the Dual Pipelines are safe. They are engineered in a manner that ensures their longevity and fitness for service. Their safety has been reconfirmed time and time again through regular inspections with sophisticated pipeline monitoring tools and a definitive hydrotest performed in 2017.
“This matter is currently being litigated in federal court. The parties are also engaged in court-ordered mediation. The State of Michigan and Enbridge have begun to meet with the mediator, and we are hopeful the process will move forward. At the court’s order, what is discussed in the mediation sessions is confidential.”