Michigan’s new governor, Democrat Gretchen Witmer, has asked Atty. Gen. Dana Nessel (D) for a legal opinion of recent legislation to replace Enbridge Inc.’s pipeline in the Mackinac Straits and the new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA) created by her predecessor, Republican Rick Snyder.
Witmer said the review is necessary to resolve any legal uncertainty regarding PA 359, the MSCA, and any actions that it takes. “I pledged to take action on the Line 5 pipeline on day one as governor, and I am holding true to that campaign promise,” she said.
Her request came weeks after the MSCA held its inaugural meeting in St. Ignace, where it approved an agreement with Enbridge Energy LP to build a multiuse utility tunnel that will include a crude oil and products pipeline beneath the waters of the straits between Lakes Michigan and Huron (OGJ Online, Dec. 21, 2018).
In her Jan. 1 letter to Nessel, Witmer questioned six aspects of creating a new authority under Public Act 359 of 2018 to oversee the tunnel’s construction instead of using the Mackinac Bridge Authority, which has been in existence since 1950.
“Resolving any legal uncertainty regarding Act 359, the Corridor Authority, and activities of the Corridor Authority is necessary to assure that we can take all action necessary to protect the Great Lakes, protect our drinking water, and protect Michigan jobs,” she said.