89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw County Oil Opponents Want More Than Proposed Oil Drilling Legislation

Sep 19, 2014

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.

Credit oilfreebackyards.org

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.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.