Canada says U.S. ties may very well be undermined if Michigan shuts pipeline By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Common view of the Imperial Oil refinery, positioned close to Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, which Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered shut down in Might 2021, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada March 20, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio


By Nia Williams (NYSE:) and David Ljunggren

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) -A day earlier than Michigan’s deadline to shut down a key pipeline, Canada on Tuesday issued its strongest remarks thus far, saying the transfer may undermine relations with the USA, its closest ally and buying and selling associate.

Canadian firm Enbridge (NYSE:) Inc is making ready for a authorized battle with Michigan and courting protests from environmental teams, betting it may ignore the state’s Wednesday deadline to close down Line 5, which runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

The Canadian authorities mentioned in a U.S. federal court docket submitting that Michigan had no proper to behave unilaterally since a 1977 Canada-U.S. pipeline treaty ensures the free circulation of oil between the 2 nations.

“This case raises issues relating to the efficacy of the historic framework upon which the U.S.-Canada relationship has been efficiently managed for generations,” Ottawa mentioned.

Michigan’s transfer “threatens to undermine necessary features of that cooperative worldwide relationship”, it added.

The temporary mentioned Canada would undergo “large and

doubtlessly everlasting disruption” from a shutdown. Line 5 brings 540,000 barrel-per-day of oil from western Canada to refineries and airports in Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

In November, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave Enbridge six months to close down the pipeline that runs 4 miles (6.4 km) alongside the underside of Lake Michigan-Huron, citing fears it may rupture.

The order wants a confirmatory order from a decide to implement it, and Enbridge and Michigan are disputing whether or not the problem must be heard in state or U.S. federal court docket.

The edges are in court-ordered mediation, with the following session scheduled for Might 18.

“We is not going to cease working the pipeline until we’re ordered by a court docket or our regulator, which we view as extremely unlikely,” Enbridge spokeswoman Tracie Kenyon mentioned in a press release this week.

Joe Comartin, Canada’s consul normal in Detroit who’s arguing on behalf of Ottawa, mentioned litigation may drag on till at the very least 2024.

“I do not see a court docket leaping the gun and ordering it closed … till the litigation and constitutional points are resolved,” he mentioned by cellphone.

Canada has been lobbying Washington officers to maintain the pipeline open in what’s prone to be an election 12 months in Canada, however the White Home has thus far not weighed in.

Ontario estimates town of Sarnia, throughout the border from Michigan, may lose 5,000 refinery and chemical plant jobs. Trade lobbyists say 1000’s of U.S. jobs are in peril.

Environmentalists and indigenous teams against Line 5 say the potential job losses are exaggerated. They plan “Evict Enbridge” rallies in Mackinaw Metropolis, Michigan, on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’re very hopeful to listen to from the governor that there might be accountability measures for working that pipeline,” mentioned Beth Wallace of the Nationwide Wildlife Federation.

Michigan is reviewing what it may do if Enbridge retains working previous the deadline, mentioned a spokeswoman for the Michigan Legal professional Common.

Canadian crude market ahead costs recommend most merchants don’t anticipate Line 5 to close in coming months, however the lack of certainty is regarding, mentioned one Calgary-based market supply.

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