Proposed changes to state law would allow some townships to regulate oil and gas drilling. Critics of oil drilling in Washtenaw County say the bill doesn't go nearly far enough.
That's because only five of Michigan's over 1,200 townships gain control over oil drilling under the proposal. The zoning change is only for townships with over 70,000 people.
Laura Robinson is president of Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards. She says the plan is an affront to 99 percent of Michigan's townships because it denies their rights to protect citizens and the environment from oil and gas exploration. Robinson hopes lawmakers expand the bill to help everyone in Michigan. "I know that there is a lot of interest out there and there are a lot of people who are concerned about their own townships and their own constituents and I have no doubt that at this point people are going to really pick this up and do something with it," she says.
Senator Jack Brandenburg introduced the legislation. The Macomb County Republican hasn't responded to WEMU's request for comment.