News Story

In Wisconsin, Nessel asks federal court for emergency shutdown of Line 5

Nessel offered a friend of the court brief arguing in favor of shutting down Line 5 for environmental reasons

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Wednesday filed a “friend of the court” brief in federal court in Wisconsin, asking a judge “to take emergency action to protect Lake Superior from an imminent threat posed by Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline,” her office announced.

Since Nessel took office in 2019, she has, along with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, targeted the Line 5 pipeline, seeking to shut it down. Nessel’s brief brings the dispute across state lines.

Nessel’s office filed the brief in a lawsuit filed by the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indian. Enbridge, the owner of Line 5, the defendant, is counter-suing the tribe. Nessel’s brief takes the tribe’s side against the pipeline.

“The alarming erosion at the Bad River meander poses an imminent threat of irreparable harm to Lake Superior which far outweighs the risk of impacts associated with a shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline,” reads a portion of the 18-page brief.

Read it for yourself: AG Dana Nessel’s brief supports shutdown of Line 5 pipeline

As Nessel’s brief notes, the pipeline transports the equivalent of 540,000 barrels of “light crude oil, synthetic light crude oil and/or natural gas liquids” every single day.

Nessel has sued in state court and federal court in Michigan, seeking to shut down the pipeline. Federal litigation is ongoing.

In February, after a high-profile train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and another less severe derailment in Wayne County, Nessel said on Twitter that transporting fuel by train is not safe for communities near train routes.

That means Nessel opposes both the use of a pipeline and the use of trains to transport 540,000 barrels of fuel daily.

Nessel’s office did not respond to a request for comment.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.