Enbridge Inc. has won a procedural round in its defense of the 540,000 b/d Line 5 after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attempted to shut the Canadian oil conduit’s dual-pipe crossing of the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge Line 5

U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff of the Western District of Michian agreed with Enbridge that legal aspects of the dispute raise a “substantial federal question” that cannot be answered in  state court, where Michigan sought to make its case.

“The scope of the property rights the state parties assert necessarily turns on the interpretation of federal law that burdens those rights, and this court is an appropriate forum for deciding these disputed and substantial federal issues,” Neff stated.

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