The Great Lakes Compact

by thoughtfulconservative

I haven’t written much on it because, Lord knows, enough has been written already. Jim Rowen posts something every day, it seems. Mr. Rowen, himself, realizes this as he expressed in this comment to James Wigderson’s post.

Sorry this went on so long. Just send people to my blog for more than they will ever want to know about all this.

And there’s been more as the Compact legislation approached a vote in Wisconsin.

I’ve been influenced by points on both sides as, it seems, has Wigderson, who, in the above link, raised some points that I’ve thought about.

[For opponents,] if it doesn’t pass (as has been pointed out time and again) we go back to the old rule of any governor can divert any diversion for any reason.

I really, really, can’t see Waukesha “returning” water through the Root River.

I’m also concerned about the governor of one state (of, say, Michigan or Illinois) being able to veto, although this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece, if accurate would allay that concern somewhat.

Waukesha County Executive Daniel Vrakas, among others, wants to get it right. Some say that we can’t change it now. But wait, Senator Mary Lazich (or perhaps aide/blogger/radio personality Kevin Fischer) says 33 amendments were added to the bill that passed the Wisconsin Senate. What gives here?

Both Rowen and Wigderson linked to this article by Barbara Miner which took a look at water in the area and its history. A piece well worth reading.

Predictably in this often partisan process, Mayor Larry Nelson has been criticized by Waukesha County’s Republican legislators. They contend he had secret meetings with Democratic legislators without notifying them and colluded with them in getting it passed.

I have concerns about water and growth. As I wrote a couple of years back in the Journal Sentinel,

Seriously, though, water problems are important. Water is basic to life.

That’s why it’s curious that in all of the talk about new malls, hospitals and other construction going on, there’s little talk about how all of that will affect the water supply.

We hear a lot of talk from the politicians about conservation but very little on controlling growth. They ask lots of questions about tax issues, permits and what the developments will look like but not too much about the relationship to the water supply.

Nothing has changed in the last two years.

Those who read this blog know I’m not an environmentalist by any means. But water is a critical resource and until we know more what’s going on with drops in lake levels and the effects of diversion, I would favor ratifying this compact and having a process requests for diversion could go through.

It’s not perfect, but nothing often is.

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4 Responses to “The Great Lakes Compact”

  1. Hey, thanks for the plug.

  2. Please let me address the issue of the 33 amendments to the Charter Compact Bill. There are two parts to this legislation; 1. the actual Compact signed by the Governors and 2. other statutory language detailing how it will administratively work in Wisconsin. The 33 amendments modified the second set of statutes. Any significant amendment to the first part, the Compact, would cause all the Governors to approve. Changing the voting procedures by the Governors under the original Compact would require all Governors to renegotiate the Compact. All eight Governors (Rs and Ds, both liberal and conservative) have indicated that they will not do that.
    Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

    George Meyer

  3. Thanks for that. That helps.

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