FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, June 14, 2010
Contact: Cyndi Roper (517) 490-1394

Constitutional amendment would protect Michigan’s lakes, economy

HARRISON TOWNSHIPClean Water Action today supported a plan to ban drilling in the Great Lakes, a protection that would ensure Michigan doesn’t become the next oil disaster zone with devastating consequences to local communities dependent on tourism, fishing and other industries.

“Michigan citizens see the devastating impact of the BP catastrophe in the Gulf on TV every day, and they do not want that to happen here in Michigan,” said Clean Water Action Michigan Director Cyndi Roper. “Our Great Lakes define Michigan, and Michigan cannot afford to open the door to a BP-style catastrophe that will destroy our local economy, our environment and our quality of life. The best way to prevent the BP disaster from washing onto our shores and destroying our local communities is to keep Big Oil and their drills out of our Great Lakes.”

Clean Water Action will discuss its support for the drilling ban at press conferences today in Macomb County and Downriver Detroit.

Michigan has more than 3,000 miles of coastline and the Great Lakes represent 20% of the world’s fresh surface water. An oil catastrophe like the BP disaster in the Gulf, which began after an explosion on April 20 that also killed 11 people, would destroy key Michigan industries. These key industries include tourism, which employs nearly 200,000 people in Michigan. Michigan’s boating industry is also a vital engine of the economy, generating $9 billion, as is fishing, which generates $7 billion, while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs between them.

“Michigan’s Great Lakes touch virtually every community and every industry in Michigan, from tourism and boating to agriculture and manufacturing, and that’s why we must slam the door on Big Oil and their drills,” Roper said. “Drilling in Michigan’s Great Lakes is simply too risky for too many people. Michigan citizens deserve a clean energy future that moves us away from our dependence on fossil fuels, and a vital step in that direction is banning Big Oil from drilling in our Great Lakes.”


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