Saturday, March 20, 2010

Billions to restore Great Lakes is Michigan pork

March 20, 2010, 2:47AM
By Russ Harding | Special to The Press

President Barack Obama has included $2.2 billion in his proposed budget to be spent on Great Lakes restoration. As with most federal budget earmarks (better known as pork), this large expenditure of tax dollars misses the mark.

The greatest environmental threat facing the Great Lakes is invasion of exotic species like the Asian carp, but only 15 percent of the restoration money would be spent to control exotic species and most of that would be wasted on programs like “developing markets for Asian carp.” We do not need a market for Asian carp; we need to stop them from invading the Great Lakes. This large expenditure of federal funds will not get the job done.

If the feds were serious about fighting threats to the Great Lakes, instead of spending billions of dollars they would take immediate steps to systematically identify all the pathways that exotic species use to gain access to the Great Lakes and then take the necessary steps to block their entry. Unfortunately, rather than making the tough decisions that would actually solve the problem, it is easier for politicians to simply throw more money at it to create the appearance they are doing something worthwhile. FULL STORY

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