Enbridge Wants Line 5 Shutdown Order Overturned on Tribal Land in Wisc.

"A “Hail Mary” legal tactic by the pipeline company invokes a 1977 pipeline treaty between the U.S. and Canada. The Bad River Band says the treaty is superseded by 1854 tribal treaty rights."

"Eleven years after easements for a pipeline buried beneath the Bad River reservation in northern Wisconsin expired, five years after the tribe first sounded alarms over the risk of an imminent oil spill into their namesake river and eight months after a federal judge ordered a shutdown, Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge was back in federal court last week arguing that the flow of oil through its 71-year-old Line 5 pipeline be allowed to continue.

“May it please the Court, the district court shutdown order in this case will cause a massive disruption in energy supplies and economies in the Midwest and Canada,” said Alice Loughran, an attorney representing Enbridge before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Feb. 8.

Citing a legal argument rarely used in pipeline disputes, Enbridge argued that a 1977 treaty between the United States and Canada prohibited any disruption in the flow of oil between the two countries. Some legal scholars say century-old treaties between the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the U.S. government should supersede the 1977 pipeline treaty and that Enbridge lacks the legal standing to bring a nation-to-nation treaty before the court."

Phil McKenna and Noel Lyn Smith report for Inside Climate News February 20, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 02/22/2024