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E-M:/ House Committee Reports Bill to Ban Directional Drilling

December 11, 2001

House Conservation Committee Reports Bill to Ban Drilling
Below the Great Lakes

Today, the Michigan House Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Committee reported HB 5118 (Shackleton) to ban directional drilling below the Great Lakes.  On a vote of 7-3-1, the committee moved the bill to the full House, where action is expected this week.

“It’s time for the state to follow the lead of Congress and ban the practice of directional drilling below the lakes,” stated James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC).  “The risk that drilling poses to the lakes and Michigan’s fragile coastal area is not worth the minimal supplies of oil below the lakes,” said Clift.  This message was affirmed by oil and gas industry representatives who testified that the drilling would have no impact on the price paid by Michigan customers for oil and gas.

Voting in favor of the bill were Representatives Kowall, Rocca, Voorhees, Callahan, Basham, Garza and Sheltrown.  Voting against the proposal were Representatives DeVuyst, Bradstreet and Drolet.  Representative Tabor passed on the bill.

“This action affirms what we have been hearing from households across the state, said Bethany Renfer, Program Coordinator at Clean Water Action.  “The people of the state of Michigan want our shorelines preserved so that future generations can experience the same joy we had growing up of taking the family to the beach without seeing it dotted with oil and gas wells,” stated Renfer.

Contact:  James Clift, MEC (517) 487-9539
       Bethany Renfer, Clean Water Action (517) 203-0754


HB 5118 Press release .doc