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NorthAmOil: Ottawa invokes 1977 treaty amid Line 5 dispute

The Canadian government invoked Article Six of the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty on October 4 amid a dispute over Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline with the State of Michigan.
The move kicks off a dispute resolution process contained in the treaty, paving the way for direct talks with the administration of US President Joe Biden over the pipeline. This comes after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has made several attempts to shut down Line 5, which carries 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Alberta to refineries in Ontario via Michigan.
Whitmer has called the pipeline’s safety into question. Even though Enbridge is proposing to replace an underwater section of pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac, housing the replacement in a new tunnel, the governor is pushing to have the pipeline shut down altogether.
Enbridge has been fighting against Whitmer’s shutdown attempts in federal court, but court-ordered mediation between the two sides broke down last month.
The 1977 treaty states that no public authority in either the US or Canada shall institute any measures “which are intended to, or which would have the effect of, impeding, diverting, redirecting or interfering with in any way the transmission of hydrocarbon in transit”. 
In an October 4 statement, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said: “In response to Michigan’s efforts to shut down Line 5, Canada has raised its significance for Canadian economy and energy security to the highest levels of the US federal government.”