In a surprising development, state regulators quietly approved a plan to place an offshore drilling rig in Lake Michigan off the coast of North Beach in Ferrysburg, roughly a mile north of the mouth of the Grand River. Through the use of high-volume deep injection horizontal hydraulic fracturing, a unique deployment in offshore exploration, the Aprifool One station will be able to tap deposits found beneath the Great Lake and nearby inland areas of the Lower Grand River Watershed. As part of the plan, an underground pipeline will be built along the Lake Michigan shoreline to a refinery in Whiting, Indiana, The development was submitted and approved through a provision of an obscure state law that shields economic development projects from public debate and several key environmental regulations. Barring a court order, construction of Aprifool One will begin in June.
Read on to learn how you can help.
Happy April Fool’s Day. And happy Earth Month. We’re happy to report that there will be no offshore drilling in Lake Michigan in the near future. Aprifool One was a product of our imagination, but while it does seem far-fetched now, developments like this are not outside of the realm of possibility. The WMEAC Blog regularly covers topics that seem like they should be April Fool’s Day pranks: A million-gallon oil spill in the Kalamazoo River. The construction of golf courses on Lake Michigan duneland. The efforts of politicians to cripple basic state and national environmental regulations. Global warming. How coal-fired power plants necessitate the leveling of mountains and constant release of mercury into our air and water. The movement to divert yard waste from composting to the landfill. Actual attempts to life the Lake Michigan drilling ban.
This Earth Month, remember why environmental action is important. Get involved before something like the Aprifool One actually comes to pass. Get involved before it’s too late. Learn more at wmeac.org/wmeaction
And on a related and much more playful note, WMEAC will be showing FernGully: The Last Rainforest this Wednesday at Wealthy Theatre. Check out the trailer below and learn more about the event here.