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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Drill, baby, drill

     We haven't really had a dandy red-hot environmental issue to kick around for a long time…until now.
      Seems the oil boys are looking at harvesting more stuff from underneath the Pigeon River region and elsewhere to the tune 230 million barrels and once the environmental folks get in the game, the fur could fly.
      For you old-timers, you'll recall that the giant oil companies during the Milliken administration back in the 70's made the same pitch.  Former First Lady Helen Milliken took on big oil and turned it into a real us vs. them donnybrook.  When the dust settled, a scaled back exploration program was launched and continues to this day with apparently no major impact on the Elk herd, other vermin and the forests.
      Greased with new and supposedly safer technology, the oil guys are back for another bite of the apple and this time they are dangling a nifty $1 billion jackpot in front of a cash-strapped state. Rep. Mike Simpson (D-Jackson) is hoping to find some takers.
     In fact he and one of his buddies are fix'in, perhaps as early as this week, to stick in the Department of Natural Resources budget bill, language that would create a five month pilot program using existing wells already in production.
     With this updated equipment, Simpson says they will use the present well heads, stick some pipes underground and "spider web out" to the liquid gold.
     The first blush reaction from the Greens was not unexpected.  They wanted no part of it no how, no way.
     Simpson has not made his pitch yet but he'll have to convert them and the DNR director who told a house committee recently, she is not signing off either. 
     The=2 0governor on the other hand has asked for a White Paper although she expressed concerns about the Pigeon River, too.
     So grab a good seat folks.  Here we go with another round of economic growth vs. protecting the natural resources which make Michigan what it is.
     Anybody got Ms. Milliken's phone number?


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