“I find it very troubling that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decided to issue a permit for exploratory drilling in Southfield. This action completely ignores the city’s lawful moratorium on oil and gas drilling within city limits, not to mention the strong opposition from residents who deserve a say in what happens in their own backyard. I fully support the mayor and city council’s efforts to defend and enforce the moratorium.
“We have seen adverse effects from this kind of drilling, and those effects would be multiplied in a densely populated area like Southfield. That’s why it’s crucial that the House take up House Bill 5258, legislation I sponsored that would increase the distance between residences and oil and gas wells, force drillers to comply with local regulations, and require the department to consider input from a public hearing. Michigan law guarantees cities the right to home rule, but in this instance, state government has decided it knows best, and the erosion of local control continues.”