Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Great Lakes Compact and Her Nine Evil Step-Sisters

The House approved the Great Lakes Compact last week. This is the legislation that protects the Great Lakes from being raided by states outside the Great Lakes Basin. The Compact must be approved by the eight states and two Canadian provinces that are in the basin. While there are arguments for or against the Compact, the nine bills that were introduced by the Democrats and tie-barred to the compact are dangerous at best and devastating at worst.

House Bills 5065-5073 are extremely restrictive to further water usage and the economic and agricultural development that cannot happen under their passage. These bills are overly restrictive; they ignore sound science which has shown that much greater use of Michigan’s water can occur without any adverse effect on the environment. This legislation puts more regulatory burdens on farmers, business owners and manufacturers. It gives the Department of Environmental Quality overreaching authority to restrict the growth of industry and agriculture in Michigan. In some areas of the state it will cause economic growth to come to a complete standstill.

The problem is that this issue has been reduced to a sound bite. Just like you can’t vote against “the kids”, “the elderly” or “the poor”, this issue is about “saving the Great Lakes.” The public at large will never hear about the details of these bills; they will only hear that they will save the lakes, rivers and streams from those terrible old manufacturers and business owners who want to drain the Great Lakes Basin dry.

The Dems have tied this nine-bill package to the passage of the Compact. They are holding passage of the Compact hostage while demagoging the “protection of the Great Lakes”. We have been sold out to the most extreme elements of the environmental protection lobby. These bills quite simply represent overkill.

You can read the bills and their analyses at

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