Friday, November 9, 2007

Congress Is Looking Into A National Water Policy - - Target The Great Lakes

Southern members of Congress are taking the first steps towards creating a national water policy, which Michigan members of Congress - - correctly sensing an effort to divert Great Lakes water - - are strongly opposing.

Again: Michigan's bi-partisan representatives take the lead, while Wisconsin politicos are leaving the Great Lakes vulnerable without the protections of the pending Great Lakes Compact.

The Great Lakes Governors have urged presidential candidates to make Great Lakes cleanup and preservation a national campaign issue.

Sounds like a good idea, presumably to put the Great Lakes region front-and-center in the debate, and in policy-making priority, should a pro-Great Lakes candidate win a party nomination, or the presidency.

The Governors want to know what the candidates' plans are for the Great Lakes. Good question - - but what if the candidates turn that right around and ask the Governors and legislative leaders in the region the same question?

So best be careful about you wish for: there are surely candidates from parched areas (New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democratic presidential candidate, has already done it, albeit clumsily, suggesting that Wisconsin was "awash in water") who believe that the Great Lakes should be shared nationally - - and won't escape noticing that only two of the eight Great Lakes states have approved the pending Compact since the draft was completed in 2005.

Two of eight? Who's scared of a team batting .250?

Based on performance and outcomes, maybe Great Lakes protection isn't such a pressing issue for the Governors and legislatures in the region after all, if all they can muster after two years come December 13 is a two-for-eight performance?.

In fact, Wisconsin, among all the eight US Great Lakes states, is the only one without a bill even under discussion - - because an unproductive discussion so far has been dominated by Waukesha County development and property-rights' politics.

The Compact needs a Wisconsin political champion. Michigan seems to have a surplus - - and a bi-partisan group at that.

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