After listening to a presentation from the Chairman of the Michigan Chamber's Environmental Quality Committee and other experts, the Board of Directors of the Michigan Chamber voted unanimously to support recommendations from the Michigan Environmental Science Board outlining new protections for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to allow directional drilling for oil and gas underneath the Great Lakes. This vote preceded by two days action by the Natural Resources Commission to lift the moratorium on directional drilling. The Michigan Chamber applauds the NRC for its action.
"Good public policy is based on facts and sound science, not anecdote or emotion," said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Jim Barrett. "The Great Lakes is one of our country's greatest natural resources. Therefore, the state of Michigan has a special responsibility to protect water quality. After carefully considering the arguments for and against allowing directional drilling, the Michigan Chamber's Environmental Quality Committee and our Board of Directors concluded that the State can and should proceed with environmentally safe oil and gas drilling from on-shore locations."
"The Michigan Chamber does not support offshore drilling located in the Great Lakes," added Barrett.
"We are firmly convinced that the additional environmental, science- based safeguards established by the DEQ and DNR assure virtually no relative risk to Michigan's water resources," said Kevin Korpi, Director of Environmental & Regulatory Affairs for the Michigan Chamber. "In our judgment, safe oil and gas exploration provide significant environmental benefits through the Natural Resource Trust Fund. For example, for nearly a quarter of a century, oil and gas leases contributed over $500 million to the state's Natural Resource Trust Fund to protect over 1,200 outdoor recreational projects."
The Michigan Chamber is a statewide business organization representing approximately 7,000 employers, trade associations and local chambers of Commerce. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process.NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000320/DEM039
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SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Contact: Kevin Korpi, Director, Environmental & Regulatory Affairs of
Michigan Chamber of Commerce, +1-517-371-2100