Today, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban directional drilling below the lakes on a vote of 98-7 (HB 5118, Rep. Scott Shackleton). The bill will ban directional drilling below the lakes beginning March 1, 2002. The bill does allow drilling to resume in the future under strict conditions if the legislature declares an energy emergency.
A sunset amendment that would repeal the bill after 2 years failed on a vote of 17-87. Another attempt to allow a few more leases to be issued before a ban went into effect also failed on a vote of 21-82.
The bill now moves to the Michigan Senate where Senator Sikkema has promised it will see prompt action in his Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee.
James Clift, Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A
Lansing, MI 48912