The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday sided with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s arguments to hear the state’s case against the Enbridge Line 5 dual pipelines in state rather than federal court. The decision is a win for Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in their efforts to permanently shut down Line 5, but horrible news for the state’s economy in general and families in particular who will experience tremendous spikes in home-heating costs.

Enbridge had attempted to move the case to federal court due to exclusive regulation of the pipelines by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Additionally, Enbridge argues that a 1977 international treaty between the U.S. and Canada requires that the case be held in a federal court. Shutting down the pipeline would force Enbridge to find alternatives for transporting an estimated 540,000 barrels of crude petroleum products between the Straits of Mackinac, which would have disastrous results for the thousands of Michigan families and businesses that rely on the heating fuel Line 5 provides.

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“We are disappointed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit failed to support Judge Janet Neff’s ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on the proper jurisdiction for this case,” Enbridge said in a statement. “Enbridge believes that the case should remain in federal court given the clear and substantial questions of federal law raised by the Attorney General’s complaint.”

The Sixth Circuit, however, found in Nessel’s favor, and the case will move forward at the 30th Circuit Court in Ingham County. According to a news release from the AG’s office, the case will be heard by Judge James S. Jamo.

“This case never should have left state court in the first place, and after this long delay caused by Enbridge’s procedural manipulations, we’re elated to welcome Nessel v. Enbridge back to its rightful judicial venue,” Nessel said. “The State has an obligation and imperative to protect the Great Lakes from the threat of pollution, especially the devastating catastrophe a potential Line 5 rupture would wreak upon all of Michigan. As we’ve long argued, this is a Michigan case brought under Michigan law that the People of Michigan and its courts should rightly decide.”

Nessel added: “The Straits of Mackinac is a fragile and unique ecosystem that must be defended from those who would risk it, and the way of life for hundreds of Michigan communities in the north, for continued fossil fuel profits. Line 5 is no safer than it was when I first sued Enbridge in 2019. It is still old, dangerous, and worsening. And I am still committed to doing everything in my power to shut down its passage through the Straits.”

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Enbridge countered that Nessel’s safety arguments are overblown.

“The Attorney General seeks to shutdown Line 5 based on perceived safety concerns, but Line 5’s safety is exclusively regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,” Enbridge’s statement reads. “Line 5’s unimpeded operation is also protected by the bi-lateral 1977 Transit Treaty entered between the United States and Canada. In Enbridge’s view, these federal issues should have weighed in favor of the case remaining in federal court.”

Enbridge said it’s hopeful that a separate case between the company and Whitmer will result in keeping the current Line 5 operating until it’s removed by the company to tunnels built 100-feet beneath the floor of the Straits of Mackinac.

“Even though the Attorney General’s case has been remanded to Michigan state court, Enbridge remains confident that the dispute can be fully resolved by the pending summary judgment motions in Enbridge’s separate lawsuit in Enbridge v. Whitmer,” according the company’s statement. “That case remains in federal court and was recently reassigned to Federal District Judge Robert J. Jonker. Enbridge seeks a determination by the federal court that the State of Michigan cannot seek to shutdown Line 5 based on safety concerns associated with Line 5’s routing through the Great Lakes.”

The statement concludes: “If the federal district court rules in Enbridge’s favor on those motions, Enbridge is hopeful that those rulings will fully resolve the Attorney General’s action. For this reason, Enbridge believes that the pending motions for summary judgment must be resolved by the federal court before the Attorney General’s case can proceed in Michigan state court.”