Judge upholds law allowing Enbridge Line 5

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FILE – This July 19, 2002, file photo, shows the Mackinac Bridge that spans the Straits of Mackinac from Mackinaw City, Mich. Enbridge Inc. said Monday, June, 17, 2019, it’s moving ahead with collection of rock and soil samples in the Straits of Mackinac while preparing for a court battle with Michigan’s governor over a planned oil pipeline tunnel there. The Canadian company, which has been drilling into the ground on the south side of the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan, said it will begin boring into the lakebed this week from a barge in shallow water. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge has handed a victory to a company seeking to build a tunnel that would house a Great Lakes oil pipeline.

Judge Michael Kelly of the Michigan Court of Claims ruled Thursday that the state Legislature did not violate the Michigan Constitution last year by approving a deal between former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Enbridge Inc.

The agreement calls for shutting down Enbridge’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, a channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan. A replacement pipeline would run through a tunnel to be constructed beneath the lake bottom.

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel contends the 2018 law authorizing the deal was unconstitutional because it went beyond what was reflected in its title.

Kelly disagreed, saying the title adequately reflected the law’s intentions.

Nessel says, “We appreciate Court of Claims Judge Michael Kelly’s quick decision as this case moves forward through the court system. We have always anticipated that this matter would be resolved in the appellate courts and we are more resolved than ever to continue this fight on behalf of the people of Michigan.”

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