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THURSDAY, AUG. 19, 2010                                                                           (517) 999-3646


Walberg has taken $57,000 in campaign cash from Big Oil, gas firms


JACKSON – Big Oil Derrick today personally thanked Tim “Top Kill” Walberg, candidate for Congress, for standing on the side of Big Oil and supporting drilling in the Great Lakes – even if it  endangers Michigan communities, local industries from tourism to fishing and agriculture, and local jobs.


To show Big Oil’s gratitude, Derrick displayed a check to Walberg, reflecting the $57,370 in political contributions Walberg has received from oil and gas companies over his career as a politician.


“Big Oil needs more friends like Tim Walberg – a true oilman who isn’t afraid to let facts and public concerns get in the way of drilling in the Great Lakes,” David Holtz, Executive Director of Progress Michigan said. “Tim Walberg won’t let small spills like the BP disaster in the Gulf or the Enbridge fiasco in the Kalamazoo River stop him from doing what’s right for Big Oil and our massive profits. Big Oil Derrick is here looking for places to drill an is pleased to hear Tim “Top Kill” Walberg hang the ‘open for drilling’ sign on the Great Lakes.”


At a public forum in Lansing, Walberg expressed support for oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes.


“I don’t know how many of you realize that here in this state in the United States, we do not allow even the slant directional drilling under the Great Lakes,” Walberg said at the May 25, 2007, forum. “Our environmental lobby has done so well in lobbying efforts from keeping us from doing that, that we don’t drill in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), we don’t drill under the Great Lakes… I don’t understand that.


Additional remarks about drilling in the Great Lakes by Walberg can be heard at: 


The BP oil disaster that has spilled more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Closer to home, an Enbridge pipeline rupture flooded more than 1 million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River, making it the worst spill in the Midwest in recent history. According to a National Wildlife Federation report released in July, Michigan ranks ninth in the nation in number of oil pipeline accidents, recording 61 significant pipeline and other oil-related incidents in the past 10 years that resulted in five deaths and 26 injuries.


According to campaign finance reports, Walberg has received $57,370 from oil and gas companies. (Source:


“Tim Walberg is the kind of out-of-touch career politician Michigan doesn’t need – one who puts Big Oil profits ahead of our Great Lakes and the future of Michigan,” Clean Water Action Michigan Director Cyndi Roper said. “Even with the catastrophic oil disasters in the Gulf and the Kalamazoo River, Tim Walberg shows that he is deaf to the concerns of the people of Michigan. The Great Lakes define the entire state of Michigan, with hundreds of thousands of local jobs depending on them staying healthy – and Tim Walberg has shown he’s more than willing to sell out our Great Lakes to Big Oil.”


“Instead of working to grow the jobs of the future in clean energy, Tim Walberg wants to drill for oil in our precious Great Lakes and send Michigan backwards,” Steve Reck, SEIU 517M political coordinator said. “Tim Walberg’s support for Great Lakes drilling opens the door to potential disasters like we saw in the Gulf and the Kalamazoo River. If even a single drop of oil washes onto our lakeshore beaches because of an oil disaster and puts local businesses at risk, Tim Walberg will be held accountable.”


During his term in Congress, Walberg voted in favor of Big Oil – and against the Great Lakes – numerous times, including:


§  Keeping the U.S. dependent on foreign oil, by voting against a measure to increase the use of renewable energy [8/04/07, HR 3221,Vote #832, 241-172]

§  Putting oil dictators ahead of Michigan consumers, by voting against a plan to crack down on OPEC members for setting production quotas to manage global oil prices [5/22/07, HR 2264, Vote #398, 345-72]

§  Seeking to expand off-shore drilling, by co-sponsoring a bill that would allow states to drill for natural gas within 25 miles of the shoreline [H.R. 2784, introduced 6/20/07]

§  Opposing greater protections for the Great Lakes, by voting twice against a measure that would have provided $25 million for Great Lakes protection [H.B. 4995; passed 68-36 on 4/14/88. Conference Report passed 99-2 on 9/7/88.]



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