LANSING (WJRT) (1/2/2019) - A proposal to bore a tunnel carrying oil pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac is getting a fresh review by new Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked Nessel to review legalities of the $500 million tunnel approved in the final months of former Gov. Rick Snyder's administration.
Nessel has called for work on the tunnel, which would replace the controversial Enbridge Line 5, to halt while her office investigates "serious legal concerns" with legislation allowing it.
“There are serious and significant concerns regarding PA 359, which the previous governor and legislature initiated and passed without the care and caution one would expect for an issue that will have a monumental impact on our state,” said Nessel.
Whitmer's request for the legal review of the deal with Canadian pipeline company Enbridge is one of her first official acts as governor. She and Nessel both have been critical of the tunnel agreement.
“Governor Whitmer has rightly – and immediately – raised important questions about the legality and statutory underpinnings of this Act and my office is prepared to tackle her request for an opinion immediately,” Nessel said.
She cautioned Enbridge and other parties involved in the project not to move forward based on the legislation currently allowing it.
"In no way should any entity rely on this Act to move forward unless and until these matters have been resolved,” Nessel said.
She did not have a timeline for when the legal review would be completed, but pointed out it is a top priority for the Attorney General's Office.