Cox: Obama Puts Great Lakes at Risk
Written by Office of Mike Cox, Michigan Attorney General   
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 14:35
Michigan A.G. Says President Obama Ignored Pleas of Great Lakes States in Favor of his Home State, Putting $7 Billion Great Lakes Economy at Risk
 
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox today said he is extremely disappointed by President Obama’s choice to protect the narrow interests of his home state of Illinois while ignoring the pleas of Michigan and at least four other Great Lakes states which have asked the United States Supreme Court for the immediate closure of Chicago-area waterways containing Asian carp.  Cox called on Obama to immediately meet with him, Governor Jennifer Granholm, and others to hear first-hand the concerns Great Lakes states have due to the immediate threat posed by the aggressive invasive species 

"I am extremely disappointed that President Obama sided with his home state while ignoring the concerns of the millions of families in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota, whose jobs and way of life depends on protecting the Great Lakes from this economic and ecological disaster,” said Cox.  “I am hopeful, however, that by sitting down with us and listening to our concerns, he will come to recognize the urgency of protecting the jobs and ecology of the entire Great Lakes region.”

Though the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers itself admitted that allowing Asian carp into the Great Lakes would be an “ecological and economic disaster,” late Tuesday the federal government filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing Cox’s efforts to protect the Lakes by closing the Chicago-area locks and waterways connecting carp-infested waters with the Lakes.  Since filing his suit on December 21, 2009, Cox has been joined by the states of Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin and the Province of Ontario.  The State of Indiana has also expressed support for Michigan’s action.   Asian carp are an aggressive invasive species that could quickly devastate Great Lakes fish populations and the hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity which they support.

Attorney General Cox’s suit comes after Illinois and federal authorities reportedly executed the largest fish kill in Illinois history in response to the discovery of Asian carp DNA just miles from Lake Michigan.  That action uncovered a carp near the electrical barrier, causing Cox to call for immediate action to once and for all address the potential devastation of the Great Lakes, before it is too late.

Cox's office has aggressively protected Michigan's water resources, previously suing the federal government multiple times to compel them to address the threat to our waters from invasives.  He also went to court to successfully defend Michigan's first-in-the-nation ballast water statute.
 
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