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State Appeals Court of Claims' Decision in Enbridge Lawsuit

LANSING - Today Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she has filed an appeal of the Court of Claims’ decision in the lawsuit brought by Enbridge against the Governor and the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

The lawsuit concerns the lame duck statute, 2018 PA 359, that would allow Enbridge to move forward with a multi-year project to build a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac to continue shipping petroleum products, more than 85 percent of which are destined for Canada.  In the interim, Line 5 will remain in its current, exposed state on the bottomlands in the Straits.

“We always expected this matter would be resolved in the appellate courts," Nessel said. "While I disagree with Judge Kelly’s decision, I appreciate how promptly he addressed this case and issued his opinion. This is just the first step in the court process, and I am more resolved than ever to continue this fight on behalf of the people of Michigan.”

The Claim of Appeal was filed today in the Court of Appeals.  Under the court’s rules the state’s brief would be filed within 56 days, Enbridge’s response is due 35 days after the state’s brief, and the state’s reply is due 21 days after that.  The court would then set a date for oral argument.

The ruling in this case has no impact on Attorney General Nessel’s separate lawsuit to decommission Line 5 based on the public trust doctrine and other common law and statutory claims.  That case is currently before Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo. Remaining briefs in that case are due November 12 and December 10.