Canada Asks U.S. Court to Delay Line 5 Pipeline Closure
By Paul Vieira
OTTAWA -- Canada asked a U.S. federal court in Michigan on
Tuesday to stop Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from shutting down this week
a vital cross-border oil and gas pipeline because such a move would
contravene a U.S.-Canada treaty.
Lawyers on behalf of the Canadian government filed a brief in
support of Enbridge Inc., which is contesting Gov. Whitmer's plan
to revoke the company's permit to operate the Line 5 pipeline that
runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, between Lake
Michigan and Lake Huron. Citing environmental concerns, she gave
the company until Wednesday to shut down the pipeline, which
carries about 540,000 barrels per day of western Canadian oil and
natural gas liquids to refineries in central Canada and the
northern United States.
Enbridge, based in Calgary, Alberta, has sued Michigan in
federal court to stop the revocation, arguing the state has no
authority to do so, and said it won't shut the pipeline down unless
ordered by a court.
Canada, in its brief in support of Enbridge, said there should
be no shutdown until the U.S. and Canadian officials work to
resolve the matter, as allowed under the terms of a 1977 treaty
between the North American countries. The brief said Canada has
initiated discussions with the U.S. to resolve this matter.
That treaty prohibits authorities in either country from
blocking pipelines that ship oil and gas across the border unless
there is an emergency. Canada's lawyers added the treaty came about
because of U.S. efforts to transport oil-and-gas products from
Alaska through Canada to the lower 48 U.S. states.
"It is essential to the continued success of the U.S.-Canada
relationship that both countries can trust that their reciprocal
legal commitments will be fully honored and implemented,
notwithstanding initiatives at the state, provincial or local
government level," the Canadian brief said.
"Canada is seeking a mutually agreeable solution that also
respects environmental and safety concerns. But neither this court
nor any state court should act in a way that bypasses and
undermines the treaty."
In a statement, Canada's Natural Resources Minister, Seamus
O'Regan, said the government supports the continued mediation
between Enbridge and the state of Michigan, under the supervision
of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Michigan. "We
remain confident this will lead to a solution," the minister
Write to Paul Vieira at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 11, 2021 13:54 ET (17:54 GMT)
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