Judge keeps Michigan oil pipeline case in federal court

A federal judge says a dispute over an Enbridge oil pipeline that runs through a section of the Great Lakes belongs in her court. U.S. District Judge Janet Neff on Tuesday retained jurisdiction in the case between the state of Michigan and Enbridge.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered Enbridge to close Line 5, which she says risks a spill in the Straits of Mackinac connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The pipeline runs from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario.

Whitmer wants the case heard in state court. But Neff ruled that the matter raises federal issues, including a 1977 treaty between the U.S. and Canada as well as pipeline safety laws.

Canada invoked the treaty last month, saying Line 5 is essential for heating homes in Canada and is also essential for its economy.