Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wacky Great Lakes oil shipping idea is shelved, for now

[Updated from 3:55 p.m.] Amidst desultory Great Lakes news of late - - an aging pipeline raising questions beneath the Mackinac Straits, massive pollution zones lingering in Green Bay and Lake Erie, threats to water quality from iron mines and pig farms close to Lake Superior - - it's a relief to see that one of the worst plans - - sending volatile Bakken crude oil by the shipload across the world's largest supply of surface freshwater is no long under active consideration.

I know it will be a long time before our culture weans itself off polluting fossil fuels, but the least we can do is:

* Keep the worst of the plans near the Great Lakes off the table while pushing hard for alternative energy production and usage - - which Wisconsin opposition to wind, biomass and solar power has slowed.

* Expand transit - - to which the current party in power is hostile.

* Aggressively ramp up oil train transport health and safety standards.

* Exert strong controls in the public interest over the planned capacity  expulsion of the north/south tar sand carrying Pipeline 61 that brings a fresh threat to state waters and farms.

In other words, rediscover and strengthen Wisconsin's environmental history and ethic.

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