Michigan Governor's Attempt to Revoke Line 5 Easement is Unlawful and Ignores Science and Evidence
January 12, 2021
Enbridge Rejects State's Notice on Easement, Says State's Action is Unlawful
CALGARY, AB and LANSING, Mich., Jan. 12, 2021 /CNW/ - Today Enbridge Inc. (TSX: ENB) (NYSE: ENB) (Enbridge or the company) responded to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's attempt to terminate an easement that has been in place since 1953 and thereby close Enbridge's Line 5 dual pipelines located in that easement. Line 5 enables the safe transport of fuel to heat homes and provides energy to Michigan, neighboring U.S. states and Canada's two largest provinces.
In a letter responding to the State's November 13 notice, Vern Yu, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President, Liquids Pipelines, wrote, "Our dual lines in the Straits are safe and in full compliance with the federal pipeline safety standards that govern them."
Both lines were reviewed and approved for operation by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) back in June and September of 2020.
Mr. Yu further stated that Enbridge has no intention of shutting down the pipelines based on the State's unspecified allegations and its violation of federal law.
The company has requested that the United States District Court dismiss the State of Michigan's action in that the revocation of the easement is contrary to federal law and that pipeline safety resides with the federal Pipeline Safety Act and its enforcement is the responsibility of an expert federal agency (PHMSA).
"The Notice ignores scientific evidence and is based on inaccurate and outdated information," Mr. Yu wrote of the State's action.
Repeated offers by Enbridge over the past year to meet with State officials to discuss pipeline issues of concern to the State, provide technical information and discuss matters that might be helpful to the State's review of the easement were consistently ignored and dismissed. Consequently, the State made its claim on ill-informed, inaccurate, out of date and unsupportable opinion.
In his letter, Mr. Yu wrote that the State acted unlawfully in issuing the Notice to revoke and terminate the 1953 easement by attempting to upend federal jurisdiction.
Enbridge's response further underscores that the Governor and the DNR Director cannot disregard Michigan laws authorizing the original 1953 easement and the replacement tunnel, nor displace PHMSA, the federal agency responsible for the safety of interstate pipelines. The company, consistent with the past, is offering to meet with the State to resolve any differences.
"In the meantime, the dual pipelines will continue to operate safely until they are replaced on completion of the Tunnel Project," wrote Vern Yu.
Residents, businesses and refineries throughout Michigan, other Great Lakes states and Canada's two largest provinces – Ontario and Quebec – rely on the safe transportation of oil, propane and other product through the dual pipelines. Enbridge looks forward to continuing to provide this critical source of energy while focusing on plans to construct the Great Lakes Tunnel as another measure to enhance safe operation of the dual pipelines.
To view Mr. Yu's letter, please click here.
Forward Looking Information
Forward-looking information, or forward-looking statements, have been included in this news release to provide information about Enbridge Inc. ("Enbridge" or the "Company") and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including management's assessment of Enbridge and its subsidiaries' future plans and operations. This information may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as ''anticipate'', ''expect'', ''project'', ''estimate'', ''forecast'', ''plan'', ''intend'', ''target'', ''believe'', "likely" and similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Forward-looking information or statements in this news release include statements with respect to the Line 5 dual pipelines, including the continued safe operations thereof, the State of Michigan's November 13 notice, litigation and government and regulatory actions with respect thereto.
Although Enbridge believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable based on the information available on the date such statements are made and processes used to prepare the information, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. By their nature, these statements involve a variety of assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, levels of activity and achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Assumptions regarding the expected supply of and demand for crude oil, natural gas, NGL and renewable energy, and the prices of these commodities, are material to and underlie all forward-looking statements, as they may impact current and future levels of demand for the Company's services. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic, exchange rates, inflation and interest rates impact the economies and business environments in which the Company operates and may impact levels of demand for the Company's services and cost of inputs and are therefore inherent in all forward-looking statements. Due to the interdependencies and correlation of these macroeconomic factors, the impact of any one assumption on a forward-looking statement cannot be determined with certainty. The most relevant assumptions associated with forward-looking statements in this news release with regards to the Line 5 dual pipelines include the impact of government and regulatory actions, approvals and litigation on ongoing and future operations.
Enbridge's forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to those risks and uncertainties discussed in this news release and in the Company's other filings with Canadian and United States securities regulators. The impact of any one risk, uncertainty or factor on a particular forward-looking statement is not determinable with certainty as these are interdependent and Enbridge's future course of action depends on management's assessment of all information available at the relevant time. Except to the extent required by applicable law, Enbridge assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made in this news release or otherwise, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All subsequent forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, attributable to Enbridge or persons acting on the Company's behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements.
About Enbridge Inc.
Enbridge Inc. is a leading North American energy infrastructure company. We safely and reliably deliver the energy people need and want to fuel quality of life. Our core businesses include Liquids Pipelines, which transports approximately 25 percent of the crude oil produced in North America; Gas Transmission and Midstream, which transports approximately 20 percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S.; Gas Distribution and Storage, which serves approximately 3.8 million retail customers in Ontario and Quebec; and Renewable Power Generation, which generates approximately 1,750 MW of net renewable power in North America and Europe. The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit www.enbridge.com.
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