Michigan Gov. Whitmer withdraws federal suit attempting to stop construction of Line 5 oil pipeline

The governor says she is pivoting legal strategies and will focus on a state lawsuit instead

Updated: December 2, 2021 - 10:25am

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Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has withdrawn a federal lawsuit against Canadian energy company Enbridge that had been filed in an attempt to shut down the Line 5 pipeline.

Whitmer said earlier this week the state is instead "shifting its legal strategy" and will focus instead on a state lawsuit filed by Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Nessel said in a statement, "I fully support the Governor in her decision to dismiss the federal court case and instead focus on our ongoing litigation in state court. The state court case is the quickest and most viable path to permanently decommission Line 5. The Governor and I continue to be aligned in our commitment to protect the Great Lakes and this dismissal today will help us advance that goal."

Whitmer has drawn consistent criticism for her attempt to shutdown the pipeline, which would cause a loss of jobs in her state, in addition to adding to the already rising cost of energy. 

"I am hopeful other lawsuits meet the same fate as this one. We need practicality as we approach this challenge, not pointless litigation and partisan stubbornness," said state GOP Rep. Greg Markkanen.

Fellow GOP state Rep. John Damoose said, "Our officials must stop threatening to shut down the pipeline – a disastrous proposal that would cut off fuel for our communities and increase costs for families."

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