Jun 7, 2010
BP oil gusher being felt in Michigan
People in the Gulf Coast are experiencing the legacy of the having two oilmen in the White House the last eight years as the massive BP oil gusher off the coast of Louisiana approaches the beaches in the area as people make decisions on where they plan to spend their summer vacations.
BP gave Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida money to help pay for clean up and off set the negative effects of the Gulf oil spill., and Mississippi is using $4 million of its money on TV commercials to attracts tourists to their beaches.
Michigan would be a great place for those tourists to come and visit and spend their money. Tourism in Michigan has been a bright spot in the current recovering economy. In fact, last September the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association released a survey of its members showing 72.9 percent had seen an increase in out-of-state visitors coming to their facilities over the summer compared to the summer of 2008.
Those award-winning Pure Michigan ads featuring Tim Allen and Jeff Daniels would be money well spent right now. There is just one problem with that scenario; Senate Republicans voted to end that successful ad campaign. The governor proposed funding the ads with a $2.50 tax on rental cars near airports, a tax paid mostly by out-of-state travelers. But Senate Republicans refused to take up House Bill 5017.
The good news is that a similar oil spill it will never happen in Michigan, but the debate over drilling in the Great Lakes may have an effect in the race for Michigan Attorney General.
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer is calling out Republican AG candidate Bill Schuette on his flip-flop on oil drilling in the Great Lakes.
Apparently, Schuette was in favor of it before he was against it.
“Not only did Bill Schuette sponsor and vote for legislation that allowed oil drilling, but then he says he flip-flopped on the issue for political gain,” Brewer said. “The voters in Michigan deserve better. Voters can’t trust a candidate who flip-flops on oil drilling.”
As a State Senator, Schuette sponsored Senate Bill 214 on Feb. 14, 2001 that would allow slant oil drilling under the Great Lakes. However, he voted for House Bill 5081 almost a year later on Feb. 13 that would ban slant oil drilling. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 28-5 and the House by a vote of 98-8. It became law in April of that year after then Gov. John Engler declined to sign it or veto it.
“We need an attorney general who will work to solve problems on behalf of Michigan residents, not work for special interests like Big Oil,” Brewer said. “Bill Schuette has been a politician for 25 years in both Lansing and Washington and his record speaks for itself – he supported oil drilling in the Great Lakes.”