Michigan activists support amendment to ban Great Lakes oil drilling

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August 16, 2010

LANSING, Michigan: With less than a month before the deadline to refer measures to the November 2010 general election ballot, activists announced that they are in support of a constitutional ban on oil drilling in the Great Lakes. To place the measure on the ballot, however, a minimum of a two-thirds vote is required in both the House and the Senate.[1][2]

The legislative proposal was spurred by this year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 20,000 gallons of oil were reported to have spilled daily into the ocean waters. In the Great Lakes, a federal ban on drilling was put in place in 2005. A state ban took effect in 2002. The seven drills that were operating at the time of the ban were allowed to continue, however, no new wells could be dug. One is for oil, four are natural gas and two are hydrocarbon wells.

"With all of the public support for getting a ban, a permanent ban on drilling, that's out there, if this Legislature cannot come together around that issue and get it on the ballot by September 2nd that is a catastrophe," said Cyndi Roper, of Clean Water Action Michigan.[1]

According to state lawmakers, they expect to address the issue in the next couple of weeks when they return to full session.[3]

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