It didn’t take long after the pomp and circumstance of inauguration day were set aside for new Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to take up the issue of Enbridge Line 5. She mentioned bridge building throughout her inauguration, but it was the proposed Line 5 tunnel that had her fired up today.
Whitmer fired off a detailed six-question request for an opinion from newly minted Attorney General Dana Nessel regarding the legality of Public Act 359 creating the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority.
Nessel immediately welcomed the first opinion request to hit her desk saying, “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.” Both Nessel and Whitmer have been vocal about their concerns regarding Line 5.
Nessel went on to say, “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.” She notes, “I encourage any interested or concerned party to forward a brief or legal memo on the issues raised by the opinion request.”
Nessel also cautioned against relying on PA 359 to move forward with any plans related to Line 5, suggesting, “Let me remind those who stand to benefit from this Act: take heed that this request raises serious legal concerns. In no way should any entity rely on this Act to move forward unless and until these matters have been resolved.”
While there is not a specific timeline for issuing the opinion, Nessel said it is a top priority for her office.