Ohio's far-right, pro-business Gov. John Kasich, (R) - - something of a conservative mentor to our own Gov. Walker - - vetoed a Great Lakes water management plan that business proponents in his own party touted and pushed through both houses of the Republican-led Legislature as a tool for Ohio employers, but that Kasich found lacking.
"Lake Erie is an incredible resource that demands our vigilant stewardship to maximize its environmental, recreational, and commercial potential for Ohioans," Mr. Kasich said...
Ohio's legislation lacks clear standards for conservation and withdrawals and does not allow for sufficient evaluation and monitoring of withdrawals or usage..."I've been suggesting that every time the pro-diversion forces in Waukesha link economic development there to tapping into Lake Michigan they are weakening the application, since all eight Great Lakes states have to approve diversions completely outside the basin to cities like Waukesha.
Ohio had proposed the highest water-withdrawal thresholds of any Great Lakes state before a user must receive a permit...
In recent days, Mr. Kasich heard increasingly from other states that raised concerns that the high water thresholds and a lack of emphasis on water conservation would undermine interstate cooperation and potentially lead to litigation.
Those diversions under the Compact have to meet rigorous standards, as they are considered exceptions, and Waukesha's out-of-basin application is the first of its kind.
Let's be honest: the other Governors could care less about job growth in one small Wisconsin city or region of the state (except, perhaps, as a competitor) - - consider that Kasich has vetoed a bill pushed by his own party and supporters that would have given his entire state a business advantage.
Because he knew he was courting legal trouble, or tit-for-tat unregulated or unjustified water withdrawals or applications in the other states that he would have trouble opposing elsewhere if he forged ahead with the Ohio legislative plan.
That's the beauty of a multi-party, mutually-applicable agreement. Everyone is constrained from doing the wrong thing.
More than a year ago, I wrote:
The weakest link in the application - - and what will raise questions all the way from the Town of Waukesha to the City of Milwaukee, and with reviewers and regulators in all the eight Great Lakes states - - is Waukesha's plan to send Lake Michigan water into parts of Pewaukee, Genesee and the Town of Waukesha.
Expanding the current service territory land mass by 80%.
Water for growth is not the goal of the Compact. Take it from a Compact expert's superb analysis, here...
It's where the diversion application lacks the most justification and creates the most waves.
Amazing that we'd learn a lesson in restraint from Kasich, the former Fox News commentator, but there you have it, Wisconsin.