The Keystone XL pipeline. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Judge Theresa Mahoney in Michigan dismissed Attorney General Bill Schuette’s attempt to move the Line 5 lawsuit to state court Friday. Mahoney said the case shouldn’t be in state court because it involves federal authorities.
Schuette is still pursuing a consolidated suit against the federal government, but the judge said the state’s attorney general has no power to intervene in an “administrative agency matter.” Mahoney said the state’s director of natural resources has “no standing to intervene in the rule of law.”
Mark Brewer, Michigan chapter leader of the Sierra Club, has been involved in the case, and called the move “disappointing” and “an administrative coup d’etat by the administration.”
The judge emphasized the importance of the public’s involvement in the case, saying, “The proper environment for people to speak out about Line 5 will not exist if they do not understand the status of the case.”
Mahoney also issued an order that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality seal the permit application, pending a final ruling by the trial court.