Michigan Drilling Ban Amendment (2010)

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Michigan Drilling Ban Amendment did not appear on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in Michigan as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure proposed a permanent constitutional ban on drilling in the Great Lakes.[1]


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.[2]

2010 oil spills

The proposal was developed in reaction to an April 20, 2010 explosion on a British Petroleum (BP) drilling rig that lead to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - specifically the spill is in federal waters off of the Louisiana coastline. Approximately 20,000 gallons of oil are reported to have spilled daily into the ocean waters. A federal ban on drilling in the Great Lakes was put in place in 2005.[1]

A state of emergency was called in the state of Michigan after more than 800,000 gallons of oil released into the Kalamazoo River on July 26, 2010. An oil pipeline owned by Enbridge Liquids Pipelines sprung a leak causing what U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer called as the "largest oil spill in the history of the Midwest."[3][4]


Rep. Judy Nerat argued that although a current drilling ban exists regarding the Great Lakes, the law could easily be changed by the Michigan Legislature and Governor of Michigan. "While there is a ban in place prohibiting drilling in the Great Lakes, it is not strong enough. Drilling in the Great Lakes will only be prohibited in Michigan as long as our legislature sees fit to continue the prohibition," he said.[5]

Cyndi Roper, of Clean Water Action Michigan, said action needed to be taken to ensure that oil did not get into the Great Lakes. "If this gets onto our beaches, if it gets into the shoreline, communities that are such a vibrant part of Michigan's economy, what a disaster that could be for the people of Michigan and for the quality of life," she said.[6]

Sen. Glenn Anderson introduced legislation in 2010 (SJR AA and SJR BB) to refer constitutional amendments to the November 2010 ballot, one of which included "banning all oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes, both off-shore drilling using the same methods BP used with its Deepwater Horizon rig, and onshore 'slant' drilling." Anderson stressed that the proposals are not an attack on the oil and gas industries but to protect the state's natural resources and "encourage accountability, integrity and responsibility."[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: How the Michigan Constitution is amended

To place the measure on the ballot a minimum of a two-thirds vote were required in both the House and the Senate.

See also

Similar measures

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Florida Oil Drilling Ban Amendment (2010)


External links

Additional reading