I'm seeing the recent TV ads by the "League of Conservation Voters" and Mr. McDowell claiming Rep. Dan Benishek supports polluting and has no regard for the Great Lakes, and I feel compelled to respond to these false charges. They point to Dr. Benishek's recent votes in favor of H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, and H.R. 2250 the EPA Regulatory Relief Act.
Both bills are aimed at slowing down the EPA from rushing through new, additional regulations, without adequate research and proper time for public and industry input.
There has been widespread concern within the cement manufacturing sector about the feasibility of these new rules as currently written, and the very real threat of plant shutdowns and the associated loss of thousands of jobs. These bills, supported by Dr. Benishek, would require the EPA to take an additional 15 months for research and public and industry input to develop standards for cement manufacturing plants and for industrial boilers, that would protect health and the environment without destroying jobs. No one wants to pollute the Great Lakes, certainly not Dr. Benishek.
The Obama Administration has gone around Congress with "executive fiat" and by executive order empowered the EPA to develop a raft on new restrictive regulations and inflict them upon industry large and small without the benefit of adequate industry research, public input and Congressional oversight.
Since joining Congress and serving on the Natural Resources Committee, Dr. Benishek also serves as a member of the Great Lakes Task Force, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers aimed at protecting and defending the Great Lakes, as well as promoting the economic impact the lakes provide the region.
Over the past three decades, the Task Force has worked on issues such as lake restoration initiatives, environmental clean-up projects and invasive species control efforts.
Among other actions, Dan Benishek has supported the Asian Carp Prevention Act of 2012, to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes, and the Surface Transportation Extension Act providing dredging and protection for Northern Michigan harbors.
Dr. Benishek is a lifelong upper Michigan resident and an avid hunter and fisherman. He loves and respect the Great Lakes and wants them and all of the natural beauty of our state preserved for his children and grandchildren, as well as every other Michigan resident.
Peter M. Sundholm