Battle to Save Lake Michigan Has Just Begun…

Posted on July 25, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

At a recent news conference and bill signing on the Lake Michigan shore near Saugatuck, Republicans and Democrats alike agreed that they had just saved the state’s water resources. The sentiment is wonderful, but that’s not what the legislation does.

More than 23 years after the signing of a regional pact to protect the Great Lakes and 10 years after a Canadian company proposed to capture and ship 50 freighters per year of Lake Superior water to Asia, Michigan politicians have just signed onto weak measures that will do as much harm as good.

After 10 years of effort, the Compact just consented to by Michigan specifically allows Great Lakes water to become a productthe direct opposite of what the public wanted. While proponents of the Compact say it bars major water exports, there’s a loophole – there is no limitation on the amount of water that can be removed and exported from the Great Lakes as long as it is done in containers of under 20 liters (5.7 gallons). And Michigan law specifically exempts packaged water from the ban on diversions.

Why this happened is less important than how to fix it. Most importantly, Michigan lawmakers need to know their job is far from done. It’s hardly begun. The state needs quickly to close the water-for-sale loophole. And if the Legislature and Governor won’t do it, the people should do it through a petition drive and referendum.

    The alternative is more misleading news releases – and the slow draining of the Great Lakes for the benefit of a select few.

Read full By David Dempsey

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Battle to Save Lake Michigan Has Just Begun…

Posted on July 25, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

At a recent news conference and bill signing on the Lake Michigan shore near Saugatuck, Republicans and Democrats alike agreed that they had just saved the state’s water resources. The sentiment is wonderful, but that’s not what the legislation does.

More than 23 years after the signing of a regional pact to protect the Great Lakes and 10 years after a Canadian company proposed to capture and ship 50 freighters per year of Lake Superior water to Asia, Michigan politicians have just signed onto weak measures that will do as much harm as good.

After 10 years of effort, the Compact just consented to by Michigan specifically allows Great Lakes water to become a productthe direct opposite of what the public wanted. While proponents of the Compact say it bars major water exports, there’s a loophole – there is no limitation on the amount of water that can be removed and exported from the Great Lakes as long as it is done in containers of under 20 liters (5.7 gallons). And Michigan law specifically exempts packaged water from the ban on diversions.

Why this happened is less important than how to fix it. Most importantly, Michigan lawmakers need to know their job is far from done. It’s hardly begun. The state needs quickly to close the water-for-sale loophole. And if the Legislature and Governor won’t do it, the people should do it through a petition drive and referendum.

    The alternative is more misleading news releases – and the slow draining of the Great Lakes for the benefit of a select few.

Read full By David Dempsey

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