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GLIN==> Response: MI Gov. Engler: Stabenow Sets Precedent to Deplete Great Lakes



I'd like to respond briefly to the Engler administration's press release of
a few minutes ago because it's meritless.

First, to suggest that a Congressional prohibition on drilling will somehow
enable Congress to dictate the fate of Great Lakes water is flatly wrong.
The Constitution's commerce clause empowers Congress to do make wide ranging
decisions if it so chooses. Despite that, Congress has maintained time and
time again that it considers the fate of Great Lakes water to be a Great
Lakes states' decision primarily. The state's press release merely plants a
bad seed inside a good head -- Congress'.

Second, I believe congress is stepping in to prevent drilling because the
public's faith has been sharply eroded over the past decade in the Michigan
agencies' willingness to protect its natural resources. Case in point: the
Michigan DEQ has been the subjective promoter of increased drilling while at
the same time holding itself out as the objective oversight agency. Lesson:
if any state doesn't want Congress to step in to protect a resource, it
should take responsible measures to protect so itself.

Third, we don't need to worry about Congress giving away Great Lakes water.
Michigan is already doing it. In fact, Michigan is paying people to take it.
Earlier this year Michigan not only permitted, but gave a tax break for
Perrier to pump millions of gallons of Great Lakes water for bottling and
sale.

My hope is that the Engler administration will stop using thinly veiled
arguments to further its ill-advised decision to open the Great Lakes to new
oil and gas drilling.

Cameron Davis
Executive Director
Lake Michigan Federation
www.lakemichigan.org

-----Original Message-----
From: List Manager [mailto:glinpost@great-lakes.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 12:11 PM
To: glin-announce
Subject: GLIN==> MI Gov. Engler: Stabenow Sets Precedent to Deplete
Great Lakes


Engler: Stabenow Sets Precedent to Deplete Great Lakes
Contact:    Susan Shafer (517) 335-6397
Online at http://www.michigan.gov/gov/1,1431,7-103-703---M,00.html

Governor John Engler today denounced an amendment approved by an
appropriations conference committee that seeks a federal ban on state
issuance of leases or permits for directional drilling in Michigan.

"This amendment sets a terrible precedent," said Governor Engler. "Today,
Washington wants to dictate how Michigan protects the waters of the Great
Lakes. Tomorrow, Washington could well dictate who gets the water."

Sponsored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, the amendment surrenders the
long-standing Michigan policy that the state manages the control of the
lakes and give it to committee rooms in Congress in Washington, D.C.

"While this amendment may advance the Senator's political goals, it does
nothing to protect Michigan's natural resources. Unlike Michigan, Canada
permits drilling platforms and producing wells in the lakes. Obviously, if
drilling is a risk, the wells drilled in the lake would be the obvious
starting point."

Engler noted that directional drilling, which has taken place in Michigan
for over 20 years under three governors of both parties, has not been found
by Michigan's Environmental Science Board to be an environmental risk.



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