U.S. DOJ urges appeals court to reconsider forcing Enbridge to drain parts of Line 5 oil pipeline

(UI) – According to Reuters, the Biden administration is pushing courts to “rethink” an order that requires Canada’s Enbridge to drain parts of its Line 5 oil pipeline. The pipeline runs through Wisconsin on tribal land.

In a public court filing, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asserted to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that draining parts of the Line 5 oil pipeline could violate a 1977 treaty that keeps oil flowing between the U.S. and Canada.

Canada has previously argued that the pipeline should remain online due to the treaty. The United States, while agreeing that Enbridge is trespassing on Native American land, is urging the court to reconsidering ordering the Canadian pipeline operator to close parts of Line 5 by 2026.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa brought Enbridge to court in 2019 over trespassing allegations and is calling for an “immediate end to Enbridge’s ongoing trespass.”

However, Enbridge claims that shutting the Line 5 pipeline down would be bad for public interest, and has offered the tribe $80 million to keep oil flowing and settle the dispute.

An Enbridge spokesperson said shutting the 540,000-bpd pipeline would not be in the public interest, and that the company continues to seek a solution that would not disrupt the flow of oil. The company has offered the Band $80 million to settle the dispute.

This story was originally reported by Reuters.

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