Green Party of Michigan says NO to proposal 1
Opposes Grab by Oil and Gas Industry for More Political Power, Protection for Fracking
Endorses Proposal 2 to Give Protection Against Warrantless Searches of Electronic Devices
Grand Rapids, Mi – The Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) urges a NO vote on Michigan Proposal 2020-1, which would tie the state's operating budget to continued oil and gas drilling -- including fracking. GPMI also calls for a YES vote on Proposal 2020-2, which would block warrantless searches of electronic devices.
GREEN PARTY OF MICHIGAN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 2, 2020
DTE and the Michigan Oil and Gas Association are leading the campaign to persuade Michigan voters to consent to the proposal -- with major early funding from two big environmental groups. The national Nature Conservancy has contributed $500,000 and the Michigan Environmental Council over $200,000.
Currently, oil and gas lease and royalty payments and other revenues from mineral extraction on state lands go into the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). Most of the money is dedicated to covering state and local purchases of wild lands.
If Proposal 1 passes, more of the money would instead go into the State Parks Endowment Fund (SPEF) to pay for state park operations and maintenance, and redevelopment of the preserved lands for "recreational" uses.
But that would break the original bargain voters approved when the funds were set up, says GPMI Elections Co-ordinator John Anthony La Pietra. "The deal was that -- as oil, gas, and other minerals were extracted -- state revenue from that depletion of natural resources would go to buy another resource, land, and protect it forever.
"Proposal 1 would make funding to sustain state parks dependent on more drilling -- even more fracking. The proposal would mean less preservation of land, and more protection of oil and gas lobby influence."
GPMI's platform has called for a statewide ban on fracking since 2012. And the party has supported drives to ban both fracking itself and the disposal of fracking fluids since the first petition was written in 2013.
The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club is also opposing Proposal 1, using an argument that lines up with GPMI's key value of Sustainability and Future Focus.
Sierra Club's reason for voting NO on 1 is that it "would shift funding priority away from the acquisition of lands at the state and local level and place greater emphasis on development and maintenance of public recreation facilities. Revenue which currently is required by the constitution to go into the MNRTF would instead all be deposited in the [MSPEF] until that fund reaches $800 million."
Sierra Club supports "find[ing] ongoing sources of funding to ensure that recreational facilities are properly maintained." But it sees the shift in use of MNRTF funds as "shortsighted. Requiring revenue from a nonrenewable source to go to ongoing, increasing funding needs creates financial problems, it doesn’t solve them."
La Pietra, who's running for 63rd District State Representative from his hometown of Marshall, urged GPMI to oppose Proposal 1 -- but support Proposal 2. "It's a rare and valuable chance to boost our protection against unreasonable searches and seizures."
If Proposal 2 passes, Michigan's constitution would require police to get a warrant to search our electronic devices. "Seems obvious," says La Pietra, "but not all courts or law enforcers see it that way -- especially not Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs & Border Patrol (CBP), and especially within 100 miles of an 'external border' of the US."
And he concludes: "CBP and ICE count the shores of Lakes Superior, Erie, Huron, AND Michigan as 'external' -- so according to them, our whole Great Lake State is within that '100-mile zone'! Michigan needs the protection of Proposal 2. Vote YES."
A full list of Michigan's 30 Green nominees on the 2020 ballot, with the latest contact information available for their campaigns, is at https://www.MIGreenParty.org/Home/Article?ArticleID=171
For more information on the Green Party of Michigan, its platform, and its Ten Key Values -- and how *you* can get involved -- please visit the party's Website at www.MIGreenParty.org and the GPMI Facebook and Twitter pages.