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Activists call for constitutional ban on Great Lakes oil drilling

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network



Environmental activists in Lansing say drilling for oil in the Great Lakes should be banned in the state constitution. And most lawmakers agree with them. But as Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber explains, that doesn't mean anything will change.

Cyndi Roper is with Clean Water Action Michigan. She says the state law against drilling in the Great Lakes could be repealed in the future, but a constitutional ban would prevent that.

"With all of the public support for getting a ban, a permanent ban on drilling, that's out there, if this Legislature cannot come together around that issue and get it on the ballot by September 2 that is a catastrophe," she says.

The Legislature would need super majorities by September to get the question of a constitutional ban before voters this fall. But political reasons in both the House and Senate have stalled the debate, and most insiders agree the subject of oil drilling was just a good campaign issue for lawmakers during a sensitive time. It's unclear whether the measure will ever come up for a vote.

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