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GLIN==> Poll Shows 79% of Michigan Voters Support New Water WithdrawalRegulations



NEWS RELEASE 
Date: March 31, 2004 	
For immediate release 

Contact:	Noah Hall
National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
734-646-1400 (cell)   734-769-3351 x 24 (office) 

Statewide Poll Shows 79% of Michigan Voters 
Support New Water Withdrawal Regulations

Support for Governor Granholm's Proposed Water Legacy Act 
highest among Republican and independent voters

Michigan voters overwhelmingly support Governor Granholm's proposed
Michigan Water Legacy Act, according to a statewide poll released today
by the National Wildlife Federation.  According to the poll, 79% of
likely voters support the legislation.  Nearly two thirds (65%) of the
likely voters polled "strongly support" the legislation, demonstrating a
powerful commitment to protecting Michigan's water from unregulated
withdrawals.   
Support for the Water Legacy Act is strongest among Republican and
independent voters.  Eighty-three percent of voters that identified
themselves as independent "ticket splitters" support the legislation,
along with 80% of Republicans, compared with 75% of Democrats.  Support
was also strongest in the northern and western parts of the state, with
98% of polled voters in the northern lower peninsula supporting the
proposed new law.

"The poll demonstrates that tough new laws to protect Michigan's water
is a unifying issue in the state," said Noah Hall of the National
Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Natural Resource Center.  "Every
single category of voters overwhelmingly supports the Water Legacy Act."


Governor Granholm's proposed Water Legacy Act would regulate large
amounts of water taken from the Great Lakes, inland lakes, streams or
underground wells.  Under the legislation, a permit would be required of
any new project that proposed to use more than 2 million gallons per
day, or more than 100 million gallons per year. Current water users
would not be limited by the proposal unless they sought to increase
withdrawals or use additional water sources.  If put into law, Michigan
would finally live up to the commitments it made in the 1985 Great Lakes
Charter agreement with the other states in the region.  Introduced as
Senate Bill 1087 and House Bill 5634, the legislation has not yet been
scheduled for hearings in either house.

"The old rhetoric opposing new regulations or permits just doesn't hold
up against the need to do more to protect Michigan's water in the minds
of the voters," said Hall.  "Even conservatives, typically skeptical of
new regulatory laws, support the proposed legislation."

Support for new water withdrawal laws has a bipartisan history in
Michigan.  Both former Governors Jim Blanchard (D) and John Engler (R)
signed regional agreements committing the state to put in place new
water withdrawal protections (the 1985 Great Lakes Charter and Great
Lakes Charter Annex of 2001, respectively).  In 2002, the Michigan
Senate's bipartisan Great Lakes Conservation Task Force, chaired by
current Majority Leader Ken Sikkema (R-Wyoming), also recommended that
"the Legislature should enact comprehensive water withdrawal laws."  But
despite apparent bipartisan support, Michigan has not yet put in place
the recommended water withdrawal laws to protect our precious freshwater
and Great Lakes.  


The full poll results and details are included below.


Protecting wildlife through education and action since 1936, the
National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization
creating solutions that balance the needs of people and wildlife now and
for future generations.

 
Poll details

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted by Marketing Resource
Group, Inc. (MRG) from March 8 through March 14, 2004, and has a margin
of error of +/- 4.1%.  

Question asked:
"Currently, the State of Michigan does not place limits on the amount
of water withdrawn from the Great Lakes Basin. A legislative initiative
is being debated in Lansing that would regulate large amounts of water
taken from the Great Lakes, inland lakes, streams or underground wells.
Under the proposed legislation, a permit would be required of any new
project that proposed to use more than 2 million gallons per day, or
more than 100 million gallons per year. Current water users would not be
limited by the proposal unless they sought to increase withdrawals or
use additional water sources. Would you support or oppose this
legislative initiative?" 
Strongly support	65%
Somewhat support	14%
Neither support nor oppose	2%
Somewhat oppose	4%
Strongly oppose	9%
Don't know (Volunteered)	6%
Refused (Volunteered)	*

TOTAL SUPPORT	79%
TOTAL OPPOSE	13% 

For more information on poll methodology, contact Paul King, Director
of Survey Research for MRG at (313) 824-2432 or paulk@mrgmi.com




###


Jordan F. Lubetkin
Regional Communications Manager
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center 
National Wildlife Federation 
213 W. Liberty, Suite 200 
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1398 
734-769-3351 Voice 
419-787-7744 Cell
734-769-1449 Fax 
lubetkin@nwf.org

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