The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa got a significant victory Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, where a judge ruled that Enbridge Energy and its Line 5 pipeline had trespassed on Reservation lands and unjustly enriched itself since 2013.
In the 56-page ruling, Judge William Conley said the Band was entitled to financial compensation. He stopped short of granting the Band’s request that Enbridge immediately cease pipeline operations across its lands.
“[A]n immediate shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline would have widespread economic consequences,” and have significant implications “on the trade relationship between the United States and Canada,” Conley wrote.
[Update: Getting valid feedback that this isn’t a win. Here’s one comment: “This ruling seems in no way a victory for the Band, except in short-term monetary gain. Basically, Enbridge got what it wanted–the opportunity to bribe the Band (now it’s a forced bribe) to keep the pipeline operating.”]Continue reading