Canada on Tuesday issued its strongest statement to date, warning that the move could damage Canada’s relations with the United States, a day before Michigan plans to close a key crude oil pipeline.
“This case raises concerns about the effectiveness of the historical framework that has successfully managed U.S.-Canada relations for generations,” Canada said. Canada added that Michigan’s move “threatens important aspects of international cooperation.”
The document said Canada would suffer a “massive and possibly permanent disruption of crude oil supplies” as a result of the pipeline shutdown. The pipeline carries 540,000 barrels of oil a day from western Canada to Ontario, Quebec and Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
Canada has been lobbying officials in Washington to keep the pipeline open. Until the report, the White House had remained silent.
Asked about the White House’s position on the pipeline on Tuesday, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters: “We don’t think about it. ”
Last November, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked Enbridge to shut down the pipeline within six months, citing concerns about it breaking.
The order requires a judge’s confirmation order to be enforced, and Enbridge and the Michigan state government are arguing over whether the lawsuit should be heard in state or U.S. federal courts. The parties are being mediated by the Court and the next hearing is scheduled for 18 May.
“We will not stop the pipeline unless ordered by a court or regulator, which we consider highly unlikely.” A spokesman for Enbridge said in a statement this week.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wrote to Enbridge on Tuesday, threatening to forfeit the pipeline’s profits if it continues to operate beyond Wednesday’s deadline.
“The state intends to file a claim of trespassing and improper profits against Enbridge in due course,” Whitmer wrote. She added that Michigan is confident of winning the ongoing legal battle.