By: - November 5, 2019 6:22 pm

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton asked in the hearing about the Biden administration’s position on Line 5. | Laina G. Stebbins

Attorney General Dana Nessel has formally filed an appeal regarding a lower court’s ruling last on the proposed Line 5 tunnel through the Straits of Mackinac. 

Dana Nessel | Ken Coleman

State Court of Claims Judge Michael Kelly last week said that Enbridge, the Canadian company that owns the pipeline, could commence with building a tunnel, as a Republican-backed law passed late last year intended. The ruling dealt a blow to Nessel, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and environmental advocates around the state who have pushed to have the pipeline decommissioned, fearing a catastrophic oil spill.

“We always expected this matter would be resolved in the appellate courts,” Nessel said in a statement. “While I disagree with Judge Kelly’s decision, I appreciate how promptly he addressed this case and issued his opinion. This is just the first step in the court process, and I am more resolved than ever to continue this fight on behalf of the people of Michigan.”

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In a statement on Tuesday evening, Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy again stressed the company’s belief that a tunnel remains the best option.

“We continue to believe the tunnel is the best solution for Michigan and that Line 5 can continue to be safely operated during the period while the tunnel is being constructed. And we are committed to build it.”

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Nick Manes
Nick Manes

Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.