Today, in what his administration called a “special message,” Governor Rick Snyder addressed Michigan’s pressing environmental and energy issues.
Gov. Snyder spoke with Cyndy about his speech and what he has planned for Michigan’s environment.
The first issue on which he spoke was hydraulic fracturing, or, as it's also known, fracking.
“A lot of it is getting the right facts out to people then working together to make sure we’re being sensitive about how drilling continues to evolve. Michigan has been doing fracking for over a decade and we’ve never had an environmental problem of any major magnitude,” said Snyder.
Snyder hopes that people look for responsible ways of fracking and aims to ensure that Michigan is leading the way to frack smartly.
Proposal 3 would have mandated that utility companies generate 25% of their energy from renewable resources by the year 2025. Snyder campaigned against the proposal and it was eventually voted down. He now insists that there is still much being done in the realm of renewable goals.
“We’re not waiting. The Constitutional Proposal did not belong in the Constitution and did not have any mention of energy efficiency. I’m supporting the concept of increasing our renewable goals. I want to spend 2013 gathering facts to set new goals between 2013 and 2014,” said Snyder.
Snyder expressed his lack of support for Senate Bill 1276, a bill that would prohibit Michigan’s DNR from setting aside an area of land specifically for the purpose of maintaining biologic diversity.
“I’m not a supporter of it. I’m going to stay focused on an ecosystem approach where it takes into account what is good environmental science and what is good economic values and how you balance those in a thoughtful fashion,” said Snyder.
Snyder then addressed the sections of land owned by the state- areas about which many people are concerned.
“If you stop and think about it, there are lands in the Michigan the state should be protecting. What are high recreational uses, where we’re getting great use out of trails? What are the lands that we can say they’re good for timber and are there lands that we have no clue why we own them?” said Snyder.
Acting upon rather than talking about urban farming was a critical part of Snyder's plan.
“One example would be the Right to Farm Bill; our agriculture community is fabulous in this state. But when you get to the urban areas, what are the constructs that say we don’t need the same requirements. We haven’t developed what would be a model that people would be comfortable seeing in their community,” said Snyder.
Asian Carp and other invasive species will be of future importance to Snyder.
“We need to do better with aquatic invasive species,” he said.
Eliminating the divisions between economic and environmental conversations was something with which Snyder was also concerned.
“A lot of these things tie together. Having a sustainable environment is important for quality life in our state. It makes us more attractive for people to come set up their businesses in Michigan. It all ties together and we need to balance all these things,” said Snyder.
Snyder felt his plans would allow for Michigan's resources to remain protected.
“How do we make Michigan a better place than what we inherited? How we’re using property and gaining benefits from that. It’s about being proactive instead of reactive. We’re so fortunate for the great assets we have here; let’s be smarter about how we utilize them and protect them,” said Snyder.
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