Government Matters: Week in review, March 13-17

Stabenow, Peters, Kildee introduce resolution opposing nuclear waste storage site in Great Lakes Basin

By WKTV Contributor


U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) have introduced resolutions, in both the House and Senate, expressing opposition to construction of a nuclear waste repository less than a mile from Lake Huron in Ontario.


“The Canadian proposal … could cause significant, lasting damage to the Great Lakes and undermine the progress we have made cleaning up the water quality in the Great Lakes Basin,” said Senator Peters.


“President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson should make every effort to prevent the Canadian government from moving forward with this proposal and work to find an alternative solution that does not jeopardize the health of the Great Lakes.


“Surely in the vast land mass that comprises Canada, there must be a better place to permanently store nuclear waste than on the shores of Lake Huron.”


Over 40 million people in Canada and the United States get their drinking water from the Great Lakes and the highly toxic waste could take tens of thousands of years to decompose to safe levels. Ontario Power Generation is currently seeking approval from the Canadian Ministry of Environment to build a deep geologic repository to permanently store 7 million cubic feet of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste less than one mile from Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario.


Peters, Portman & Stabenow introduce bipartisan legislation to boost Great Lakes funding

Legislation would help modernize research capabilities, bring Great Lakes on par with ocean coasts


By WKTV Contributor


U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have introduced bipartisan legislation to spur Great Lakes funding and research efforts and help support effective fishery management decisions.


The Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization (GLFRA) Act gives the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) the legislative authority to support the $7 billion Great Lakes sport and commercial fishery industry. Despite holding one-fifth of the world’s fresh water, the Great Lakes science program does not have the same funding authorization as science centers on saltwater coasts, and this legislation will close the resource gap between the Great Lakes Science Center and other fishery research centers across the country.


“Our Great Lakes and waterways are part of who we are and our way of life,” said Senator Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. “From water quality issues to invasive species, there are so many challenges facing our lakes and fisheries, which is why funding for cutting-edge research is so important.”

Peters statement on President Trump’s proposed budget

By Allison Green


U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Ranking Member of the Federal Spending Oversight Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding President Trump’s proposed budget that dramatically cuts critical domestic programs:


Sen. Gary Peters

“President Trump’s proposed budget makes drastic cuts that will hit Michigan families and businesses in both urban and rural areas especially hard, including cuts to transportation services education, job training and programs that are essential for protecting the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes, which provide drinking water to 40 million people and support Michigan’s multi-billion dollar shipping, fishing and agricultural industries.


“I am particularly disappointed that President Trump still has not put forward a comprehensive strategy to grow our manufacturing industry and create jobs. Instead, his budget proposal eliminates or slashes funding for critical programs that support the small businesses and manufacturers that are our country’s greatest job creators. Instead of gutting programs that Michigan families, seniors and businesses rely on, the President should focus on making smart investments to boost innovation and American manufacturing, strengthen our infrastructure and ensure our country remains economically competitive.


“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, I believe it is important for us to have a strong and innovative military, but we must also invest in our people to maintain our nation’s competitive edge. Congress has a responsibility to use taxpayer dollars efficiently and effectively, and members of both parties must work together to reduce wasteful spending and help shrink the deficit, but this proposal does more harm than good.”

Senator Stabenow statement on President Trump’s budget request that completely eliminates Great Lakes funding

Sen. Debbie Stabenow

By Miranda Margowsky


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request, which completely eliminates funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:


“It is outrageous that President Trump’s budget request completely eliminates funding to protect the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has always received bipartisan support and continues to be absolutely critical to protecting our Great Lakes, including fishing, boating, hunting, and fighting invasive species. Our Great Lakes economy creates 1.5 million jobs and are part of our Michigan way of life.


“I will continue working across the aisle to not only stop cuts to Great Lakes funding but  also to other important initiatives that are important to Michigan families, manufacturers, farmers, and small businesses.”