Well, things are finally looking better for Flint, now that they’ve gotten a lead-free water source, millions of bottles of water, and hometown band King 810 promising to save them all. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, we can take one step ahead while taking two steps back.
House Bill 4540, originally sponsored by state representative Kurt Heise, is a bill that was introduced solely to conceal information about oil and gas pipelines from being public information. It is basically an amendment added on to the state Freedom Of Information Act, and will make it a requirement for anybody who wants to access this information to jump through the typical FOIA rings of arbitrary fees and paperwork.
Ironically enough, Kurt Heise, according to his state bio:
“(Kurt) Heise has nearly 25 years’ experience as a municipal, labor, and environmental attorney in Southeast Michigan. He began his career as the Assistant City Attorney in Dearborn Heights and Woodhaven, then as the Mayoral Deputy in Dearborn Heights. Heise spent nine years in Dearborn Heights, where he handled all elements of municipal government, environmental law, ordinance drafting, contract negotiation, labor relations, and intergovernmental relations.
From 2003 to 2009, Heise served as Director of the Wayne County Department of Environment. He played a key role in the development of the State Watershed Alliance Act, was a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Lake St. Clair, and was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve as co-chair of the Michigan Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council. Heise represented Wayne County on all matters impacting the Detroit Water & Sewer Department and the Rouge River Watershed before the Federal Court, EPA, and MDEQ.”
One can only wonder why someone with such an extensive career in environmental issues would introduce a bill that serves only to help the people who ruin the Michigan environment the most. If you want to let Kurt Heise know how you feel about this despicable bill, he can be reached at his creatively named phone number 1-855-REP-KURT, or he can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Michigan has the largest concentration of freshwater in the world. Why the politicians here are hell-bent on ruining it for us, I have no idea. But once it’s gone, it’s gone. Let’s do what we can to save our most precious resource, while we still can.