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Energy

UPDATE 2-Enbridge seeks to block Michigan's move to shut down Line 5

(Updates with NWF comment)

Nov 24 (Reuters) - Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc said on Tuesday it had filed a federal complaint in the U.S. District Court seeking an injunction to stop the State of Michigan from taking any steps to prevent the operation of Line 5.

The Enbridge Line 5 pipelines runs under the Straits of Mackinac, where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet, and ships 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil and propane, serving both retail customers and refiners in Michigan and Ohio.

It is a critical part of the company’s network that delivers the bulk of Canadian crude exports to the United States and eastern Canada.

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in November she is terminating the easement that allows Enbridge to operate its Line 5 pipelines, as the company failed to protect the U.S. Great Lakes by preventing the line from being damaged.

The move would require the line to be shut by May 2021.

“In the face of continued roadblocks by this Administration it’s time for the State to stop playing politics with the energy needs and anxieties of U.S. and Canadian consumers and businesses that depend on Line 5,” said Vern Yu, Enbridge’s executive vice president and president of liquids pipelines.

The company added that a disruption to Line 5 would result in a daily shortage of over 14 million gallons of gasoline and other transportation fuels, impacting the entire region, including Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario and Quebec.

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) said Enbrige’s lawsuit seeks to strip Michigan of its authority to protect the Great Lakes.

“We urge the courts to reject Enbridge’s desperate, last-ditch effort to salvage its dangerous and failing pipeline,” said Mike Shriberg, NWF Great Lakes’ regional executive director.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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