Friday, February 22, 2008

Gov. Doyle Urges Compact Approval; GOP/Trade Groups Balking

Gov. Jim Doyle urged adoption of the Great Lakes Compact Friday after a tumultuous week during which GOP Republicans and major state trade associations suggested the historic regional water management agreement be derailed.

With only a few weeks remaining in the current legislative session, approval of a Compact bill, delayed for more than two years, may occur in the Democratically-controlled Senate, but the Assembly, managed by GOP, may bottle the bill up in committee, or adjourn without taking action.

With polls showing about 80% of the Wisconsin electorate in favor of a strong Compact, the GOP may be handing the Democrats an easy win in this fall's elections by turning the Compact into a partisan issue.

The GOP leaders and their business community allies are arguing that the Compact be renegotiated and amended, but that's little more than spin, as four of the eight Great Lakes states' legislatures have approved the Compact and inserted it into the states's law, as is.

Rewriting the Compact at this stage is impossible, and the GOP leaders know it.

Worse, if Wisconsin is the lone holdout among the Great Lakes states, the agreement does not go into force.

That would leave the Great Lakes vulnerable to wasteful uses and imprudent diversions that could harm the level and quality of their remaining waters.

And encourage the GOP and other Compact opponents to begin to sue to remove federal diversion protections, leaving the floodgates open for water to be moved by tanker ship to Asia (proposed in the 1980's), and by pipeline to parched areas too far from the Great Lakes for water to be returned.

1 comment:

Meg & Dave said...

This is awesome! I called the governor and asked him to come out publicly against all this nonsense. siting a letter his office wrote back to me about his stated position in favor of the legislation. I asked him to stand up for what he believes in and be a true Wisconsin Leader. I think he listened to me! and the glut of other people in an uproar about it!

I usually stick to subversion, but that tactic may not work here.

Keep fighting the good fight!