Gary Peters

image captured from Sen. Gary Peters' YouTube page

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) has introduced a bill to improve a country-wide broadband coverage map.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)

Newly released images from Enbridge Energy show damage sustained to the Line 5 oil pipelines from an anchor strike last April.

The video and photos given to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation show a gash across the east pipeline, and several dents and scrapes on the west pipeline. In written testimony Enbridge identifies three dents on the pipelines caused by the anchor strike, the longest was more than 23 inches.

Enbridge also provided all this information to the U.S. Coast Guard who is investigating the strike.

GREGORY VARNUM

The Line 5 oil pipelines in the straits of Mackinac were struck by an anchor last April. Then at a hearing held by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in August, Enbridge Energy Vice President David Bryson pledged to release information on the strike.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

U.S. cherry farmers filed a legal case against the country of Turkey on Tuesday. They say Turkey subsidizes their cherries so much that they can sell some products for half the price of domestic ones.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

For the past decade, Americans have been buying tart cherries from Turkey for cheap. Tart cherry farmers in Michigan say that’s hurting their bottom line. Now they’re hoping a new bill in Washington will balance the scales.

The U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard will open a new facility to prepare for a potential oil spill in the Great Lakes.

 

As part of the Coast Guard reauthorization bill signed into law by President Trump Tuesday, they will open a National Center of Expertise in the Great Lakes.

 

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D), who sponsored the provision, says the facility will research clean up and response methods to an oil spill in freshwater.

 

 

Today, in the spirit of Halloween, we bring you two different segments on the Minnie Quay ghost story and its historical roots. Plus, Kirk Steudle joins Stateside on his last day as director of the Michigan Department of Transportation to discuss what he's learned about the intersection of infrastructure and politics. 

David Cassleman

The Soo is one step closer to getting a new lock. The Senate authorized nearly $922.4 million in funding for the project Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental groups say the U.S. Coast Guard is not ready for an oil spill in the Great Lakes.

 

The Coast Guard is required by law to have a plan for a spill.

 

However, Margareta Kearney, an attorney at the Environmental Law and Policy Center, says they don’t.

 

 

“There was testimony that clearly stated the Coast Guard is not at the ready to respond to an oil spill in the Great Lakes,” Kearney said.

 

 

Max Johnston

An Enbridge vice president says the company will release more information on damage to Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. A ship anchor struck the pipeline in April.

 

David Bryson, the vice president of operations at Enbridge, committed to releasing the information at a meeting hosted by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in Traverse City Monday morning.

 

Peters pressed Bryson to be more cooperative with the state and to release video footage and pictures of the pipeline. Peters sounded surprised when Bryson agreed.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters will host a hearing Monday in Traverse City on oil spill and response efforts in the Great Lakes. The meeting will be centered around the controversial Line 5 pipeline in the straits of Mackinac.

Peters says oil spill preparedness - at both the state and federal levels - is poor.

“I don’t think they’re very prepared at all,” Peters says. “We have to do a better job of understanding how we clean up these accidents.”

The Trump administration has rolled out its plan to respond to violence and guns in our schools. It wants to provide firearms training to some teachers. But it has backed off on making major changes to gun legislation: For example, there’s nothing about raising the minimum age to buy guns from 18 to 21.

David Cassleman

A group of Michigan lawmakers has introduced legislation in Washington, D.C. to authorize building a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie. 

Supporters of the project say a new lock is needed as a backup for the Poe Lock. 

Thousands showed up at a rally in Warren on Sunday where Democratic Presidential Candidate and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, along with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, all joined together vowing to fight Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

It was one of dozens of rallies held across the country in support of Obamacare.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters joined Stateside to discuss the rally and what he’s hearing from Michigan voters and lawmakers with regard to the ACA and Republican repeal efforts.

David Cassleman

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters is pushing a federal agency to speed up a report that could lead to a new lock built at Sault Ste. Marie.

A 2015 analysis from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns of a scenario where a six month closure at the largest lock at the Soo, Poe Lock, leads to the nation’s automobile industry grinding to a halt. That could send the economy spiraling into a deep recession.

“It is a critical piece of infrastructure not just for Michigan but for the whole country,” U.S. Sen. Gary Peters says in an interview with IPR News Radio. Sen. Peters along with Sen. Debbie Stabenow have been advocating for a new lock at the Soo.


There are some important issues that seem to be mired in Republican resistance on Capitol Hill, federal aid for Flint, and hearings on a new Justice for the United States Supreme Court among them.

Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., joined Cynthia Canty on today's Stateside to talk about the latest developments and what it might take to get these efforts running through the Senate.


U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D) has two big projects on his plate in an effort to strengthen protections for the Great Lakes and provide funding for the city of Flint in the wake of the water crisis.

The U.S. Senate recently gave unanimous approval to a funding bill that includes important protections for the Great Lakes. The bill re-authorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is the federal agency that oversees pipelines.

The FBI has now joined the investigation into the contamination of Flint’s drinking water. That’s in addition to the U.S. Prosecutor and State Attorney General Bill Schuette.

The announcement comes in advance of tomorrow’s House committee hearing on the public health disaster.

In the meantime, leaders at local, state and federal levels are trying to piece together money and strategies to get the lead out of the water and to help the children who have been exposed to lead.

The Great Lakes region would become a 'high consequence area' for oil spills, under a bill before the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Gary Peters, who introduced the legislation, says the designation will make the Straits of Mackinac safer from a potential spill.

"It's going to increase the inspections," Peters told IPR News Radio in an interview. "It increases the reporting. It increases the standards that companies have to meet for those pipelines."

Environmental groups say a 60-year old oil pipeline crossing the Straits is high risk. Enbridge, the company that runs the pipe, says it’s safe.

Sen. Peters attached this legislation to a larger bill which reauthorizes the agency that inspects pipelines.


Peters touts bill banning oil tankers on Great Lakes

Sep 30, 2015

Michigan's U.S. senators have unveiled legislation they say will protect the Great Lakes from oil spills.

The bill would require a review of all pipelines in the Great Lakes region, plus it would ban transporting crude oil on tanker ships. That's something that doesn't happen at all right now, but Sen. Gary Peters says it could be a threat in the future.

"This has been a possibility that's being discussed," Peters says. "It has not been done up to this point because people frankly believe that it's just unacceptable."

Senator Gary Peters says he's still "weighing all the issues" on President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. Congress is expected to vote on the agreement early in September, when lawmakers return from summer recess.

“This will probably be one of the most serious votes that I will make no matter how long I’m in the United States Senate," Peters said in an interview last week with Interlochen Public Radio.

Peters also took time to discuss the controversial oil pipeline that crosses the Straits of Mackinac.

“I am not satisfied that it’s safe," Peters said.  "I’m very concerned about it. Quite frankly I don’t even believe that it probably should be in the Straits."


Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI, has often reached out through the phone line to talk with us here on Stateside, but today he joined us in-studio to discuss petroleum coke, the Iran nuclear deal, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and life as the only Democratic freshman in the U.S. Senate.

Traverse City Whiskey Company

Small distillers in northern Michigan would get a big tax break under a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last week by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI).

He visited Traverse City Whiskey Company on Tuesday to promote the legislation, which would lower the federal excise tax on liquor from $13.50 per gallon to $2.70.

When he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Gary Peters promised to approach his job in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation. He says that's exactly what's behind the first two bills he has introduced in the Senate.

It’s estimated that in the United States some 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

“It is a tragedy, one that we have to deal with,” Michigan Democratic Senator Gary Peters said. “In my mind we have a sacred obligation to take care of those who have served us overseas, so we need to address it immediately.”

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