Monday, February 20, 2012

Really? Drilling in the Great Lakes?

Water is a crucial part of the identity of the state of Michigan. Water defines many of our state boundaries. It lies in lakes and ponds and runs in rivers on our state's surface. It's stored not too far beneath the surface of our state, too. We drink it, fish in it, swim in it, boat on it, use it for manufacturing and tout it in attracting tourist dollars. We couldn't live without it. It's part of what makes us different from other states.

So you would think that our members of Congress would understand that Michigan residents take it seriously. They want to protect it.

Not Mike Rogers. The 8th District Republican actually voted last week to allow drilling for oil in the Great Lakes. Lance Enderle, the only announced candidate for the Democratic nomination to oppose Rogers, jumped on that vote with a news release pointing out that Rogers' vote conflicts with his statement in 2010 that he "firmly opposes" drilling for oil in the Great Lakes.

As Enderle's news release points out, 30 million people depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water and another 1.5 million people have jobs, resulting in $62 billion in wages every year, because of the Great Lakes, according to a study by Michgian Sea Grant at the University of Michigan. Of those jobs, 525,886 are in Michigan.

And after the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the 2010 pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River, Rogers wants to jeopardize that?

It would be Pure Michigan no more if Rogers has his way.

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