Attorney General Bill Schuette spoke on 1320 WILS this morning and was asked a simple question, what he thought about Donald Trump’s proposed 97 percent funding cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which would cut funding to protect the massive freshwater source from $300 million to $10 million.

His answer was a word salad that chiefly blamed — get this — Obamacare and the mayor of Chicago.

QUESTION: “Are you concerned about that 97 percent reduction in the Great Lakes funding…with the current administration?”

ANSWER: “Yeah, you bet. Absolutely. And where this really stems from is Obamacare, and the mayor of Chicago, and the Illinois shipping interests really don’t care about the quality of the Great Lakes and fresh water. And what we don’t want is Asian carp coming from the Mississippi River up into the Great Lakes. We have to block it.”

That’s right, Bill Schuette blames Obamacare, the mayor of Chicago, and Illinois shipping companies for the cuts that Donald Trump is proposing. If you don’t think that makes any sense, you’re right.

Bill Schuette refused to answer the question for several reasons:

  1. Schuette would never say anything to disparage Donald Trump, who the AG adamantly supported throughout the campaign and during his transition to the White House, even if what Trump is doing will hurt Michigan. Party over people.
  2. Bill Schuette’s record on protecting the environment is abysmal. He led a crusade against the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, where he sided with corporate polluters who are pumping poison into Michigan’s air and water. He’s never found an anti-EPA lawsuit he didn’t like. And that’s not just since he’s been an AG. The League of Conservation Voters environmental scorecard gave Schuette a score of 32 percent from 1985-1990, when Schuette was in Congress.
  3. The attorney general is a staunch supporter of climate denier and now EPA head, Scott Pruitt, who is in the pockets of oil companies and polluters.

Schuette is woefully out of step with a majority of Michiganders when it comes to protecting our air and water and standing against dirty industries. A recent poll found that nearly 60 percent of Michigan residents support combating pollution and reversing climate change over economic interests.

Schuette can try to shift blame to a healthcare law or a city’s mayor for the potentially devastating cuts to Great Lakes protection funding, but it’s his party and his president who own this. Schuette can’t spin fast enough to get away from his poor record on protecting Michigan’s air and water.

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