Happy National Corn on the Cob Day!
If you live in Michigan, or anywhere in America really, corn on the cob is probably a staple of your backyard barbecues. Living in a state where most days of the year look like a scene out of ‘Frozen,’ I relish the day when I walk into Meijer and see the huge bin of fresh corn ready for the taking – a sign that summer is here.
Sweet corn isn’t the only Michigan specialty that’s available for our summer mealtime enjoyment. We can’t forget about strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, carrots, cucumbers, peaches, and our world-renowned cherries – to name a few.
Will you still be as excited to see your favorite summer fruits and vegetables at the store knowing that they were grown in a field filled with mercury, arsenic, and lead? I doubt it.
We are a state that grows things. Our farmers are some of the best in the country and around the world. Yet, in an act of willful ignorance, conservative legislators have passed a package of bills that allow utilities that burn coal to send coal ash, a toxic byproduct produced by coal-fired power plants, across the state to be spread on farm fields.
Those legislators claim that spreading coal ash on farm fields is “beneficial,” but we know that’s not true. In fact, over a quarter of the known cases cited by the Environmental Protection Agency in which coal ash contaminated local water supplies and the environment were results of careless practices like spreading the ash on farm fields and using it in road construction.
Those bills are on the Governor’s desk right now. Conservatives in the legislature have made their choice and put corporate polluters over our health and our agricultural legacy. The question now is, will Governor Snyder do the same? If his record is any indication, the answer is: Unfortunately, yes.