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Conservation Group Releases 'Scorecard' For Michigan Lawmakers

Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Two northern Michigan lawmakers are being praised by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters in a new “environmental scorecard.” The report rates lawmakers on the group’s key environmental causes.

Rep. Frank Foster (R-Pellston) is singled out as an environmental “advocate” for a bill designed to protect water as companies drill for oil and gas using a method known as “fracking.”

“It’s incredibly important that we look at how we’re regulating that process,” says Jack Schmitt, deputy director of the League of Conservation Voters. “And this legislation was a first step in that direction.”

Foster’s bill was introduced this year but has not seen much action and there will be little time left in the legislative calendar when lawmakers return from summer break. Schmitt is not optimistic it will be a priority for the state House. That’s one of the reasons the report scores Michigan lawmakers this year with an overall “incomplete.”

Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) was also praised for a bill that would allow the state to purchase more public lands. His bill, which also has yet to see much traction, would lift a cap on the amount of land the state can purchase.

The report also singles out two lawmakers the League calls “adversaries,” including Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) who introduced legislation early in this session that would stop the state from setting aside hundreds of acres strictly for the purpose of nurturing native plants and animals. That's stalled in the state House.