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Judge upholds law allowing Great Lakes oil pipeline tunnel

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A Michigan judge has handed a victory to a company seeking to build a tunnel that would house a Great Lakes oil pipeline.

Judge Michael Kelly of the Michigan Court of Claims ruled Thursday that the state Legislature did not violate the Michigan Constitution last year by approving a deal between former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Enbridge Inc.

The agreement calls for shutting down Enbridge’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, a channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan. A replacement pipeline would run through a tunnel to be constructed beneath the lake bottom.

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel contends the 2018 law authorizing the deal was unconstitutional because it went beyond what was reflected in its title.

Kelly disagreed, saying the title adequately reflected the law’s intentions.

John Flesher, The Associated Press