Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Michigan's water threatened

From the Muskegon Chronicle:
The way author Dave Dempsey sees it, "water is the oil of the 21st century" and Michigan may lose control of its most precious natural resource by failing to regulate how it is used.

Michigan is the only Great Lakes state without a law regulating water use and Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposed Water Legacy Act -- which would require large water users to obtain state permits -- is stalled in the Legislature.

The lack of a water-use law was one reason Nestle North America was able to build its controversial Ice Mountain water bottling plant near Big Rapids with little state oversight, Dempsey said. Nestle is currently bottling about 105 million gallons of groundwater each year from the Muskegon River system; about 15 million gallons of that water is sold in stores outside the Great Lakes basin, company officials have said.

Absent laws regulating how companies use the state's water, Michigan may be unable to block future diversions of Great Lakes water to other states and nations, Dempsey said during a speech Monday at the Spring Lake District Library. He said increased water diversions could pose serious threats to the lakes, which contain 18 percent of all fresh water on the planet.
So why is the bill stalled? It's all about the money, of course:
Granholm's proposed Water Legacy Act, which would regulate water use in Michigan for the first time, has been bottled up in the Legislature for two years. Industry groups contend the proposed regulations would drive up the cost of doing business and stifle economic development.
These slimeballs will promote economic development if it kills us, which it will.