Multiple reports Tuesday say Enbridge Energy plans to defy the State of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer over her November revocation of easement rights at the Straits of Mackinac for the Line 5 oil and natural gas pipelines.

The state's Department of Energy says it stands by its order to shut down operations by May. The fear is there is enough damage to Line 5 to make an oil spill in the Great Lakes a real possibility.

Enbridge counters that not one drop of oil has been spilled from Line 5 into the Great Lakes. The company also says that any shut down would create a major energy shortage, which previous administration have worked, to avoid shortages, similar to those caused by foreign oil cartels. Enbridge does say it is willing to the engage in discussions to remedy the concerns that both Federal and State regulators have. Another factor is the coming change in administrations in Washington next Wednesday. The incoming Transportation Secretary, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, campaigned against Line 5 as a Presidential candidate over the past 18 months.

Former Governor Rick Snyder's administration came to an agreement with Enbridge in 2018 to build an alternative to Line 5 under the Straits. Courts have so far upheld that agreement., but given all the diverse and divergent factors playing into the future of Line 5, likely this case will be in the courts for a long time.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest