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Michigan TU News:

Oil & Gas Exploration

Michigan Trout Unlimited opposes the exploration, development, production and remediation of contamination that could have a negative impact on coldwater fisheries and their watersheds unless and until appropriate safeguards are in place to protect those fisheries and their watersheds from potential damage.



Hydrofracking Package of bills introduced in the House of Representatives – We need to support them!

HB 5149 (Irwin) Introduced Nov. 3, 2011. Referred to Energy & Tech.

Requires oil and gas drilling operations that use an average of 100,000 gallons of water per day or more in a 30-day period to use the State water withdrawal assessment tool to screen for adverse impacts on water resources. With respect to drilling operations employing hydraulic fracturing, the bill would codify into law permitting instructions recently established by the Department of Environmental Quality.

HB 4736 (Brown) Introduced June 14, 2011. Referred to Judiciary.

Creates presumption of liability for contamination of groundwater caused by chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing process. If groundwater is found to be contaminated near a fracking operation the company will shoulder the financial responsibility to determine through testing if that pollution was a result of the fracking activity.

(Rep. Brown has another bill, yet to be introduced, that requires oil and gas companies to fully disclose chemicals used in fracking operations. We will keep you posted on its development.)

The Process Once Bills Are Referred to Committee:

After a bill is introduced and referred to committee any member of the legislature and/or public may request that the bill be put on the agenda and scheduled for a hearing. To make this request you may write to the Chairperson of that committee. You can also write to your legislator and ask them to request that a bill be scheduled for a hearing. Keep in mind that a request does not guarantee a hearing for the bill(s) you are requesting. Some bills die without ever having been considered by a committee.

Keep Track of the Bill

Follow this link to request notification of the weekly committee agenda:  www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(lox3g545o4gvhl45hbwf1rux))/mileg.aspx?page=listserverSignup
*Request notification from Energy and Tech Committee and Judiciary Committee since those are the committees the above referenced bills were referred to.

*If you receive notification that a bill is scheduled for a hearing you may come to the meeting to testify. If you decide to testify, notify the committee as soon as possible and, as a courtesy, let your legislator know that you've asked for time to present testimony.

Follow this link to see any related documents and history of a bill (type in bill number): www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28o2o2hp45pesqh2i4fydlxcus%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=Bills

Contact Information:

Representative Kenneth B. Horn , Chair
Energy and Technology Committee
E-mail Address:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lansing Office Mailing Address:
N 1198 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Fax: 517-373-3589
Phone: 517-373-0837


Representative John J. Walsh, Chair
Judiciary Committee
E-mail Address:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lansing Office Mailing Address:
251 Capitol Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Fax: 517-373-5957
Phone: 517-373-3920


The RIVERWATCH, a Special Report on Oil & Gas

In 2010, Anglers of the Au Sable hired Jeff Alexander, an investigative journalist and author of Pandora’s Locks, to look into the state of the oil and gas industry in Michigan and its affect on our woods and streams.  The project was packaged in Anglers newsletter, The RIVERWATCH, as a Special Report on Oil & Gas.  It was released in mid February.

Alexander’s investigation looked at two areas, the first is the spider web of pipelines that lace through some of our most beloved watersheds and the potential threats they may contain, with a focus on the AuSable River watershed .  The second area in the report is the burgeoning effect of the water intensive technique of drilling for oil and natural gas of horizontal fracking to Northern Michigan.  For the neophyte, it is a comprehensive introduction to the threat of oil and gas exploration and recovery to Michigan’s wild places.  To those more conversant with the problem, the report will expand their knowledge base and help focus their concerns for the future.

If you care about coldwater conservation in our state this is a must read!

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