September 23, 2008

Reactions to passage of Great Lakes Compact

The U.S. House of Representatives today gave final approval to the Great Lakes Compact, by a vote of 390-25. The Senate has already passed the Compact, and President Bush has said he would sign it into law.

Here are some reactions to the passage:

"This is great news. The people of Wisconsin rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, jobs, energy, shipping and recreation. By taking this final step to ratify the Compact, we will protect the health and welfare of the Great Lakes for ourselves and future generations."
--Sen. Herb Kohl

"The environmental health of the Great Lakes is a top priority of mine and to the people of Wisconsin. I was proud to help pass the Great Lakes Compact today and protect this vital natural resource for future generations of Wisconsinites. The Great Lakes Compact represents a bipartisan commitment from legislators and governors throughout the Midwest, and I am hopeful that today’s timely passage of this Compact will help ensure the safety of the Great Lakes for future generations.

"I’ve long been a vocal advocate in defense of the Great Lakes. In addition to my work as co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus and my efforts to control the growing threat posed by invasive species, I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 6577, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, as well as H.R. 1350, the Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act, which includes measures to prevent pollution and curtail the loss of wildlife habitats.

"The protection of shared natural resources requires shared responsibility across state lines and across various levels of the public and private sectors. The Great Lakes Compact represents this all-inclusive partnership, and I was proud to stand in strong support of today’s passage."
--Rep. Paul Ryan

"The Great Lakes Compact is critically important for Wisconsin. Last year we saw the Great Lakes reach historic low water levels, which impacts Wisconsin commercially and environmentally. The passage of the Great Lakes Compact means these incredible natural resources will be defended against increased water withdrawals, one of the biggest threats to lake levels. I was proud to chair a key hearing in the Senate on the Compact in July, and to work with my colleagues from Wisconsin and other Great Lakes states to pass the Compact just days later. Now I’m very pleased that the House has passed the Compact as well. The Compact now goes to the President for his signature, and I hope he will take immediate action to ensure that the Great Lakes, which are such a precious resource for Wisconsin and the nation, get the protection they deserve."
--Sen. Russ Feingold

"For close to a decade, the Great Lakes States have been negotiating and then building support for a compact that would protect the amazing waters that define this region.

"Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great Lakes Compact. This has involved a lot of hard work, and I want to thank everyone who has gotten us this far.

"This Compact will protect the lakes against long-distance water diversions and, just as critical, it will give our region the framework it needs to sustainably manage this world renowned resource. These are waters that define us, and now we have defined a legal framework to make sure that all that they offer us can be protected.

"One of our greatest competitive advantages in a 21st Century global economy is our water – water that will help Wisconsin businesses grow and attract new businesses to our state. These lakes drive our economy. They drive our recreation. They drive our transportation and industry.

"I applaud the members of Congress for their leadership in protecting the Great Lakes. Today’s action reflects a successful partnership—one that we hope to build on in order to take even bolder steps to protect our Great Lakes. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and other partners toward this shared goal."
--Gov. Jim Doyle

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