Mike Rogers says one thing and does another. Again.
Congressman Mike Rogers has claimed time and again that he will protect our Great Lakes, but when money started coming his way he was quick to turn his back on his Michigan constituents and their safety to vote against them. Rogers has taken over $250,000 from oil and gas interests and it showed February 12th when it came time to vote against drilling under or within 5 miles of Michigan's Great Lakes.
Mike Rogers' opponent for Michigan's 8th district, Lance Enderle, blasted Rogers for his votes on a bill (The Pioneer Act) and an amendment on that act regarding drilling the Great Lakes, and Rogers' camp's responses were highly misleading and incorrect. He claimed the bill did not include a "provision for drilling in the Great Lakes". Technically, it doesn't. The bill is part of a broader plan that opens more future public land and waters to exploration, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, offshore in the Atlantic and the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. It also doesn't explicitly protect the Great Lakes or Florida's Everglades. That's why democratic Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida introduced an amendment to the bill specifically preventing drilling within 5 miles of the Great Lakes and the Florida Everglades. Unfortunately, the amendment failed on a 241-176 vote, with Rogers voting against it.
The bill Rogers voted for, HR 3408, was for the Keystone pipeline. A bill his camp purports will "produce more American energy, lower soaring gas prices for Michigan families and commuters at the pump, and create an estimated 1.2 million jobs". Unlike the drilling comment, it's not misleading, it's an outright lie. The Keystone pipeline will INCREASE gas prices, and will not create nearly that many jobs. And the jobs it would create will be temporary.
The fact is the US is producing more oil than at any other time in history. Oil is also our number one export. The Republican mantra has been that Keystone will make us less reliant on foreign oil. The truth is, the oil we drill goes into the world market and is moving in and out of the country so fast it's harder to keep track of than Sneetches through Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Star-on/Star-off Machine. The Keystone pipeline will increase gas prices through market manipulation both here and abroad. It's Wall Street speculation that determines the price of gas, and if the pipeline is built, the Canadian market will have an adverse effect as well. Independent analysis has found that the price will increase by at least 20 cents per gallon in the midwest. And US farmers, who spent $12.4 billion in 2009, will see their expenses rise to at least $15 billion in 2012/2013 if the pipeline goes through. At least $500 million of that would come through Canadian market manipulation.
As for job creation, the State Department's Executive Summary of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Keystone XL Project predicts the construction workforce would only need 5,000-6,000 workers. An amendment to the bill proposed for at least 75% of the iron and steel to be used in the domestic portion of the pipeline to be produced here also failed. That could have created more jobs, but Rogers voted against that, too.
Mike Rogers won't protect our Great Lakes, prefers raising the cost of gas over lowering it, and clearly does not care to create a single job. Lance Enderle will be a fierce protector of the environment. He understands our drinking water is at stake and will fight for not only our Great Lakes, but also our national parks and BLM lands. Lance also knows the pipeline will not help job creation, but developing a green energy base will. He supports unions and the Employee Free Choice Act as well. He also supports FAIR trade, not free trade, by imposing a tariff on all imported goods. Michigan needs to elect Lance Enderle to Congress to send a clear message that the current system of taking PAC and special interest money in exchange for political favors must GO!