Saturday, December 12, 2009

Should Michigan Give Its Water Away?

Alaska has a lot of oil, and it doesn't give it away. Michigan has a lot of water, and it shouldn't give it away, either.

Alaska state government rakes in plenty of revenue from the oil it sells to the rest of the United States and elsewhere, enough so that residents get a check from the state government. The state actually charges companies royalties for taking its oil.

Water is just as vital a commodity as oil. Yet Michigan doesn't tax the water that companies take from here to sell elsewhere.

Lt. Gov. John Cherry says the state should impose a 10-cent a bottle fee on the water corporations bottle here, according to a Lansing State Journal article. That kind of royalty would raise $118 million a year.

There will be lots of Republican whining about another tax. And the bottling companies are going to threaten to take the jobs elsewhere. But are there lots of other places with so much extra water that they're giving it away? And why do Republicans want to ship our water elsewhere for free?

If Alaska can charge for its oil, Michigan can charge for its water.

1 comment:

Graham Davis said...

Great post, Judy! Learn more about John Cherry's bold proposal at