The Gulf Oil spill has been a much publicized disaster. While most are aware there will be devastating effects on the offshore drilling in the gulf, not all may be aware of the effects it is having closer to home. Senator Debbie Stabenow has called for a stop to Canada’s drilling in the Great Lakes, and wants to check what safeties are in place.
While Canadians can drill, Michiganders can’t due to a state ban. According to the Petoskey News, Stabenow addressed the question of whether or not the ban would be repealed as the dependence on oil increases: “It’s very good we have a president that understands the Great Lakes. So, I’m confident that the ban on oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes is going to stay in place.” Oh great, that’s comforting…
In fact, it is possible that instead of being loosened to allow more drilling to respond to the growing demand for oil, the ban may become permanent. This could come to a vote before Michigan voters in November. If it is passed this “no drill” ban would be added to the Michigan Constitution. It would be the first Great Lake state to do so.
Of the seven states Michigan shares the Great Lakes with, only three others prevent drilling. Canada currently has 500 offshore gas wells in Lake Erie and allows both onshore and offshore drilling.